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  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 12:16pm
NewsHong Kong

CY attack on illegal structures 'unfair', Henry Tang says

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 January, 2013, 3:46pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 January, 2013, 6:47pm

Henry Tang Ying-yen, who was defeated last year’s chief executive poll, has broken his long public silence on the illegal structures row, saying it was “unfair” of rival Leung Chun-ying to attack him for infractions that Leung himself had committed.

Tang, a former chief secretary, was initially the frontrunner in the chief executive race in March, but lost popularity and Beijing’s support after an illegal basement was found in his house in Kowloon Tong.

In a radio interview on Thursday morning, Tang recalled how he reacted upon learning Leung had illegal structures at his own home on The Peak. He exclaimed, “Wow, is that possible?”

Leung’s structures were revealed in late June, shortly before he took office as chief executive.

”When I was criticised for having unauthorised structures, of course I and other citizens would believe that [Leung] didn’t [have unauthorised structures at his home],” Tang said.

Tang recalled how Leung tore into him during a televised election debate, criticising Tang for “hiding the truth” about his unauthorised structures.

“Moreover, one of his aides distributed leaflets outside my house during the election period, claiming I should withdraw the chief executive race because of the illegal structures scandal,” Tang said.

“Looking back, I find that pretty hilarious,” he said. “It was unfair [of Leung] to attack me over my illegal structures while he himself had the same problem.”

Tang recalled Leung’s statement that he had merely shown negligence in his mishandling the unauthorised structures at his home on The Peak, rather than deliberately hiding the truth.

“If this is called negligence,” Tang said, “I really hope there won’t be any negligence in his governance in the future.”

Almost a year after the unauthorised structures were exposed under his York Road home, Tang said he was still unable to “remove a brick” from it because the Buildings Department was continuing its investigations.

He doubted the government was dealing with the matter fairly, because his lawyers and architects told him they have never seen such a lengthy probe into an unauthorised structure.

He will file a submission to the government on Friday, seeking approval for his plan to seal off the unauthorised basement with a brick wall.

As for Leung’s maiden policy address, which is due in about two weeks, Tang said he hoped Leung would use it to set out a blueprint for his governance over the next five years.

Tang declined to say whether he will run again, saying that he will consider the matter after he has finished dealing with the unauthorised structures at his home.


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sammckhk: Well Said! Agree with you 100%. Henry thinks he'll get away with this because he already made it clear that it was his wife's idea to build that basement and he had no knowledge of it.
Both are not reliable!
What Henry should remember is that his 'illegal structure' wasn't just a trellis or car port cover, it was a basement that, according to an architect friend of mine, could only have been built at the time of construction of the house and not an illegal alternation later. In this case could it be considered a deliberate attempt to either evade land premiums or plot ratios. The old rich attitude of trying to get away with something because they think they can.
Henry never knew when to keep his mouth shut before ( remember the 'you can all be the next Li Ka Shing' comment - yea. if the landlords and developers weren't sucking us all dry which wasn't what happened to LKS ), it seems he still hasn't learn't any lessons from the last year especially the one known as 'engage brain before speaking'.
Henry Tang lost his election not because of "his wifes" illegal structures at her home but lost to his poor crisis management regarding to this issue. He was unsecured and did not has any solution plan nor did he showed strong leadership. This crisis for him just showed that he is unsecured and helpless when he faces hardship and a tough matter to solve. He was relying on help and advises from others (his tycoon friends) and had no confidence in taking decisions or own matters into his hands. Meaning, he wouldn't be able to manage any crisis in Hongkong. The downfall came when he pulled out his wife to take the blame at the last minute. Wrong decision and wrong timing, as he should have done this earlier or never. In this way, it looked like that his wife should act as his scapegoat. That was the reason and not the issue of the illegal structure itself. Hong Kong needs strong leadership and Henry Tang did show that he isn't a strong leader but just a playball of the wealthy tycoons.
Wow... what a crybaby...
It sits ill in the mouth of Henry Tang to criticise anyone when he has not yet (and probably never will) come clean over his basement.
We should be relieved that Tang lost the election for if he had won, Hong Kong would have been completely handed over to the greed and corruption of his tycoon friends.
Mr. Tang its not only unfair for you and HK ppl. but he has proved himself a shameless being. He knows No dignity so forget about changing his chicken heart. Only God will take care of him. Life goes on... Cheers.. :)


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