When you're in a hole, Henry, stop digging
We see that Henry Tang has changed his modus operandus: 'nice, polite Henry' has adopted a more aggressive mode and come out swinging against his opponent in the election contest, C. Y. Leung. Tang, having self-destructed over revelations about his illegal basement construction and marital infidelity, has seen his standing in the polls plummet. On Thursday, he 'attacked' Leung, warning the Hong Kong public to be wary of him, saying Leung was unreliable and blaming him for the collapse in the property market in the 1990s and saying he was therefore a threat to our wealth. However, one of the basic rules of engagement is not to launch an attack unless you have a reasonably firm foundation. As we have seen, foundations have not proved to be Tang's strong point. His attacks on Leung remind us of the famous observation by the British politician Denis Healey, who remarked, when criticised by a political rival, that it was 'like being savaged by a dead sheep'.
Jing rings up another plaudit from the finance mags
We are thrilled to see that Jing Ulrich has been named one of Forbes magazine's 50 power businesswomen in Asia. Ulrich is JP Morgan's managing director and chairman of global markets, China. 'Her knowledge of China and financial markets has made her a familiar face on Asian economic and investing matters ... Ulrich coaches Chinese companies and investment funds on their activities in China and abroad,' the magazine said. We are indeed blessed to have her name grace our columns given her appearance in various other high-profile lists. Forbes named her one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World in 2010 and listed her as one of the 20 youngest global power women. She was also ranked as one of Fortune magazine's 50 Most Powerful Global Businesswomen for the past three consecutive years and named one of FinanceAsia's Top 20 women in Finance.
One law for the parkers, another for the walkers
We hear that a partner at Linklaters was given a ticket for jaywalking in Central recently. This transaction occurred within a stone's throw of double-parked seven-seater tycoon-mobiles which were left undisturbed. Why jaywalkers are targeted in preference to the double-parked remains a mystery, though as we have observed before, the police appear reluctant to take on the seven-seater set. We also hear reports that the parking situation outside the tycoon's canteen, the Fook Lam Moon, was back to its chaotic best at lunchtime this week.
Purple reigns this month for epilepsy charity
March is epilepsy awareness month and the Hong Kong charity Enlighten-Action for Epilepsy has launched a new campaign, 'Paint the Town Purple', which aims to raise funds for its activities and culminates on March 26, which is Purple Day - the global day of epilepsy awareness. There are almost 65,000 people with epilepsy in Hong Kong and more than 50 million worldwide.
The charity says: 'We don't hear of epilepsy sufferers because the stigma that surrounds epilepsy forces most of them to be silent.' For more information, see www.enlightenmhk.org.
Biting the hand that feeds them
Australia's treasurer, Wayne Swan, has lashed out at three of Australia's richest mining magnates, according to Reuters.
The mining magnates, Gina Rinehart, Andrew ('Twiggy') Forrest and Australia's 'King Coal', Clive Palmer, are accused of only thinking of number one. Obviously, their lobbying efforts against the resource tax still rankle with Swan, who accuses them of trying to reshape Australia for their own purposes. 'Politicians also face a choice between standing up for workers or kneeling down at the feet of the Gina Rineharts and the Clive Palmers,' Swan said. The magnates were outspoken critics of the new 30 per cent tax that takes effect from July 1. 'I think the fair go that we all cherish, the fair go that we nurture, is at grave risk today because vested interests are on the march,' Swan said.
Forrest was wounded by the charges. 'Andrew epitomses the spirit of what an Australian can do if given a fair go,' Fortescue's deputy chairman, Herb Elliott, said in a statement.
'For a politician to suggest that he has lost sight of this fair-go ethic is heartbreaking to the Forrest family and baffling to those of us who work with him.'
Our advice to the trio is come to Hong Kong, where the government would never, ever criticise businesspeople, particularly billionaires. It is more likely to invite them to run the government.