Leung Chun-ying

CY makes a quiet visit to Sha Tin new year fair

There were no protesters so he and his wife had time to buy plants and chat with visitors

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 February, 2013, 5:23am

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and his wife dropped into a Lunar New Year fair on Thursday, their second in a week, without the drama of their first outing in which they were mobbed by protesters.

The visit, made hours before he left for Britain for an 11-day holiday with his children there, was not publicised until it was disclosed in his blog last night.

In a one-minute video clip attached to the blog entry published last night, Leung and his wife Regina Tong Ching-yee were seen at the Sha Tin fair at Yuen Wo playground in the afternoon.

They visited several flower stalls, talked with fair visitors and stall operators, and paid a total of HK$878 for four plants including gladiolus and Yokohama Bean. He said it was a rewarding outing.

The scene is in stark contrast to his visit to the Lunar New Year fair at Victoria Park on Monday, when the couple was mobbed by protesters demanding that he resign. They had to cut their visit to 15 minutes.

His Monday tour followed a tradition set by his predecessors. He and his wife were encircled by more than 20 police officers and security guards yet Tong was jostled and almost hit by a cushion thrown by a protester at a florist's stall. Leung had planned to visit two florist shops and a New Year decoration store, but had to skip the other two.

The chaos also resulted in Leung paying just HK$100 for four bunches of lucky bamboo, which cost HK$140. His office settled the bill later.

Leung, who is a keen horticulturist, on Thursday chatted with a mandarin orange farmer on how to get the best from the trees.

He said on the blog: "The fair was busy today. There were many children and youngsters who were just off from school, as well as seniors who had just finished buying food.

"What surprised me was that I came across a former schoolmate from [my alma mater] King's College!"

He also said he cherished the time spent in the community. Talking with the public was always fruitful and inspiring.

Asked why the second visit was not announced, Leung's office just said "Leung wanted to visit the fair with his wife this time."