My Take

A food 'scandal' to sink their teeth into

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 November, 2012, 2:54am

Corruption, collusion, conflict of interest - call in the ICAC, quickly!

The Civic Party and that guiding light of democracy, Apple Daily, have uncovered an outrage deep inside the house of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. His wife, Regina Leung Tong Ching-yee, has secretly set up a non-profit company to tackle food waste and distribute leftover food from hotels, restaurants and bakeries to the needy.

This won't do, warned the Civic Party's Dr Kenneth Chan Ka-lok, because - I am not making this up - she could be leveraging her husband's influence to help promote certain public policy - like limiting food waste. Apple splashed this scandal of scandals on its front page on Monday.

"She should distance herself from pushing any public policy," said Chan, a lawmaker. "It will give the public a clouded perception, as her company needs to apply for funding from both the government and the private sector.

"The public will be suspicious of her potential motives as she has close ties to well-heeled enterprises … It will undermine the government's credibility when it pushes food-waste policies."

Chan has gone to the trouble of sending a letter of inquiry to Leung's office, demanding an explanation of Tong's position and asking whether there is a conflict of interest.

Oh, did I forget to tell you Chan also teaches political science at Baptist University? You wonder if this is the kind of political issue he teaches his students to fret about.

How dare Mrs Leung abuse her connections to promote the reduction of food waste and its recycling! I mean, the conflict is obvious. Our First Couple might use their position to save on waste disposal charges at Government House and their luxury home on The Peak, for God's sake!

Did you know Mrs Leung has exploited her influence by talking to green groups, which have welcomed the idea of extra funding for such waste-reduction schemes? The fact that Friends of the Earth and the People's Food Bank run by St James' Settlement supported Mrs Leung's initiative shows the impunity with which she has abused her connections and power.

But, thanks to the vigilance of the pan-democrats and their media friends, she should now stay home like a good little lady.