Ex-Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang was not the victim of a witch-hunt

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 March, 2017, 4:57pm
UPDATED : Friday, 03 March, 2017, 10:28pm

I refer to Jake van der Kamp’s column (“The frivolity of Donald Tsang’s corruption case does Hong Kong’s reputation no favour”, February 20) and the letter by Simon Murray (“Trial of ex-Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang about triviality and revenge”, February 22). I just have to wonder what is too trivial for the leader of one of the most amazing cities in the world.

Both of these gentlemen are accomplished by their words, levels of education, and from what I have read, knowledge of or with Donald Tsang Yam-kuen. So it begs the question: how much is enough to convict such a lofty man?

There’s no doubt as to Tsang’s accomplishments for both this city and the culture of Hong Kong in general. I doubt that any leader in the near future could even dare to wear a bow tie, as they would thereby be standing in a shadow far too large to escape from.

The problem I see in what van der Kamp and Mr Murray are saying is the comparisons they make to regimes and countries regarding corrupt practices, and comparing them to Tsang being the victim of an apparent witch-hunt. Van der Kamp speaks of a few totalitarian regimes where prospective leaders by birth or position are killed or prosecuted by the new regimes in a way to consolidate power, but does note that Tsang’s conviction doesn’t necessarily hurt or help anyone here. Similarly, Mr Murray compares the Hong Kong justice system to North Korea in its apparent limiting of freedoms.

Both men speak of the petty nature of the crime and that real crimes are out there, but the question of how much is enough is still there.

The very fact that Tsang, a man who represented Hong Kong in so many ways, is being held accountable for mistakes he made while being in a position of immense power, is proof that Hong Kong is not North Korea, nor is it even my own birth country, America, where the rich and powerful can abuse their positions and usually never see more than a slap on the wrist for their crimes.

This was not a huge crime, it was not a murder, assault or robbery. But that is not the point.

Donald Tsang broke the law, a law only he could break, and only with the power he had.

Ray Patton, Wong Tai Sin