Oh what fun as the dirt flies far and wide

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 March, 2012, 12:00am


People complain about the mud-slinging in the chief executive race and even Vice-President Xi Jinping has called for an end to it. But this is one thing in Hong Kong that Beijing is powerless to stop.

Personally, I love it. It gives ordinary people like you and me a front-row centre seat to view how the rich, powerful and well-connected in Hong Kong consort with each other and - not infrequently - plot against one another.

What we are seeing is that those who sling mud eventually get muddied themselves, while hurting not-so-innocent bystanders as well. Hong Kong is such a small place, and the privileged classes are even smaller, that rumours, threats and innuendo inevitably ricochet and hit everyone.

The latest victim is the Heung Yee Kuk and the rural committees that fall under it, after Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen became the first victim of the mud-slinging's collateral damage when hit by 'luxurygate'.

The dinner at the centre of a storm over alleged triad threats was apparently organised by rural representatives. And at the centre of the row is one controversial businessman called Kwok Wing-hung, also known as the Shanghai Boy. He showed up as a dinner guest and is obviously well-connected in the New Territories; even kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat and vice-chairman Daniel Lam Wai-keung admitted on Sunday they knew him.

Yet, suddenly everyone has denied inviting him and he has become persona non grata. So much for the loyalty of his steadfast friends in the New Territories! Surely Lau and the kuk cannot hope to escape all the mud being thrown around? Go to any official reception in the New Territories and chances are you will run into someone with an unsavoury background. We may think ours is a modern, law-abiding city. But different rules apply in the rural districts. The latest fuss is shining a light on something that's been hush-hush all these years.