What luxury will Tsang give up for Lent?

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 February, 2012, 12:00am


Well, people who run a wealthy city, a big company or a country tend to do that - mingle and party with the rich and beautiful, and travel in private jets and yachts. Just think Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, David Cameron, Lee Kuan Yew, Michael Bloomberg. And how about the infamous evenings of 'bunga bunga' with former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi or Mr Sex Party personified Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former International Monetary Fund chief?

So it's hardly surprising our chief executive took a few trips on a Predator 130 yacht or a Gulfstream jet owned by local and mainland tycoons - and got a good rental deal for a Shenzhen penthouse.

Such dealings by themselves don't amount to proof of corruption or collusion. But they certainly say something about Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's character. While these tycoons and their entourages are rich, no one, not even the most sycophantic, would describe them as beautiful. At least Strauss-Kahn and Berlusconi were more aesthetically demanding of the company they kept.

Tsang has feigned outrage at the expos? 'I hope you will not always analyse issues from a negative conspiracy perspective. I'm very sad to see what is going on. And I'm very distressed, too. If this trend continues, Hong Kong will be constantly exhausted by internal strife.'

How ironic, then, that Tsang, a self-styled good Catholic, has been exposed for his obsessions with luxury in the week that Lent starts for the faithful.

The Christian period of observance lasts from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, during which Tsang's co-religionists are supposed to observe fasting, abstinence and penitence, the better to remind themselves of the dangers of wealth and luxury that might distract them from true salvation.

A man of character in Tsang's position should worry more about his legacy than cheap luxury.