The exit of Lew Mon-hung

Alice Wu says the tragic tale of Lew Mon-hung's quick fall from a minor player to political outcast was entertaining while it lasted

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 04 February, 2013, 3:02am


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As the saying goes, the only constant is change. And, yet, it still surprises me that Lew Mon- hung has gone from passing out self-produced leaflets outside failed chief executive contender Henry Tang Ying-yen's home, during the media circus outside No 7 York Road less than a year ago, to being the political outcast today. Surely, it had to take more than just the hands of providence.

"Dream Bear" is so melodramatic he could probably outdo Anne Hathaway playing Fantine in Les Misérables.

There might have been a time when CY was kind. There might have been a time when his words were inviting. In those times, the election might have seemed like a song, and York Road was exciting.

Otherwise, why would the deputy chairman of a listed company, a multi-business businessman, and a then member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference print flyers, drive to the Tang residence, and pass them out under the glare of the cameras with not a care in the world? This is the kind of stuff no one has since come close to repeating (nor would they wish to). Lew took the stage set up by fate and made such a spectacle of himself that it deserves a place in the history books.

It remains a mystery today as to whether Lew was conscious of the fact that his mockery of Leung Chun-ying's election opponent also made a mockery of his own, now former (I presume), friend, so much so that he was deemed a public embarrassment and a liability to Leung. This self-proclaimed "foot soldier" may have played a role - a minor one, at most - in helping Leung secure the top seat, but he did so at the expense of his own political future.

There was also the controversial dinner with alleged triad participation, organised by Lew. Lew pounded the nail in his political coffin with that sideshow. For him to come out of that believing he could still procure any political positions or favours just points further to his loopy logic.

If a man is known by the company he keeps, then it should not surprise anyone that Leung would distance himself from the "Dream Bear". Any political ransom Lew dreamed he had secured would never be paid.

Yet Lew would not let up. He tried to muster a deal with the Heung Yee Kuk - on whose behalf? - over illegal structures, advocating an amnesty from the authorities. The irony and hypocrisy is glaringly obvious to the world, but seemed to be completely lost on him. He is politically unfit, because he is intellectually unfit, for any seat at any political table.

There was a time when Lew dreamed a delirious dream. And then it all went wrong. Perhaps he still dreams that these seats of political power will come to him, and that he will live the years of power and influence. But there are dreams that cannot be.

Lew has become a tragic political figure, and it is all his own doing. He ostracised himself from all circles of influence through bad taste, bad judgment, bad logic and bad acting.

And this is why, no one other than Lew is shedding any tears over this. And all the melodrama is losing, not holding, the audience.

Alice Wu is a political consultant and a former associate director of the Asia Pacific Media Network at UCLA