All Around Town, November 29, 2012
A gentleman or a crook - which one is it?
In political ethics, integrity is the virtue that a politician is apt to hold most precious. While it remains debatable whether Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's explanation about the illegal structures in his home involves integrity issues, lawmaker Lam Tai-fai has his own theory.
"People do not have the same standard when it comes to integrity," Lam, a loyal ally of Leung's chief executive rival Henry Tang Ying-yen, said. "For example, a mean person and a gentleman view integrity differently, as do a crook and a philanthropist."
Lam, of course, would not say if he was identifying anyone. As a member of the pro-establishment camp, he was also tight-lipped on whether he would support the looming motion of no confidence in Leung. "The matter is still evolving," he said.
But Leung has at least secured the support of recent recruits to the Executive Council. Both Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee and Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung said it could trigger a constitutional crisis if the motion was passed.
C Y supporter inspired by Clinton scandal
Many readers might still remember how Bill Clinton was helped in beating sitting president George Bush in his presidential campaign in 1992 by the famous catchphrase, "It's the economy, stupid". A similar ploy has now been borrowed by one of Leung Chun-ying's core supporters.
In a column written this week by Mak Kwok-wah, a deputy director of Leung's campaign team and a former assistant director of information services, he compared Leung's illegal structure affair to Clinton's Lewinsky scandal.
"Clinton did not admit he was wrong. He even tricked the public with his words," Mak said.
"But at the end he was not impeached and finished his term with a high popularity rating. It was attributed to his leadership which brought the longest period of economic development in US since wartime.
"Leung has apologised already. If it does not come to an end, how can Hong Kong focus on economic development and livelihood issues?"
Political scientist Ivan Choy Chi-keung was not impressed.
"It is not going to work," he said. "Leung has made the matter too difficult for himself. He should also remember Clinton did not escape the impeachment proceedings."
English readers to miss out on Szeto memoir
The memoir of late democrat Szeto Wah has sold more than 40,000 copies over the past 16 months, but his family says an English translation of the book is unlikely to appear.
Szeto Keung, a younger brother of the activist, said the family had abandoned the idea of a translated version of In The Endless River Eastward Flows: A Memoir, citing "technical problems".
"Uncle Wah" revealed in the book that Xu Jiatun, director of the Hong Kong branch of the Xinhua News Agency from 1983 to 1990, had high hopes for him and was grooming him as a possible future chief executive.
The memoir was one of the best sellers at the annual Hong Kong Book Fair last year. Szeto Keung said part of the proceeds was given to the Szeto Wah Education Fund.