Henry Tang promises to support wife in court over illegal basement

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 March, 2013, 7:59pm
UPDATED : Friday, 01 March, 2013, 7:59pm

Failed chief executive candidate and former chief secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen promised on Friday to accompany his wife to court on March 13 when she faces a charge of having an illegal basement in their Kowloon Tong home.

Tang, who was appointed to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) a month ago, also hinted that his family was “prepared” for any outcome from the upcoming trial.

Tang’s wife, Lisa Kuo Yu-chin, was among four people charged last month over a 2,250 square foot illegal basement at their house at 7 York Road, Kowloon Tong, but Tang himself escaped any charges.

The existence of the luxurious illegal basement first came to light in the run-up to last year’s chief executive election, which, along with Tang’s handling of the ensuing scandal, damaged his campaign for the top job.

After the chief executive election it was revealed that his opponent and the current chief executive Leung Chun-ying had illegal structures on his Peak home.

Tang spoke of the case for the first time before setting off to Beijing for the CPPCC meeting, which opens on Sunday.

“During the campaign for the executive, which I lost, I had the … full support of my family,” Tang said. “Therefore I will support my wife when she goes for the first hearing on March 13; I will be there to support her both spiritually as well as physically.”

He added that his family had become more united since the chief executive campaign.

When asked whether he is “prepared for the worst”, Tang said the family had made adequate preparations whatever the outcome.

Tang also said he hoped to contribute on mainland affairs as a local delegate to the CPPCC – China’s top political advisory body.

“This is the beginning of the [Beijing government’s] 12th five-year plan, and Hong Kong has a very special place in this plan, so I will be humble, observe [the CPPCC’s work] and make the best of this new opportunity for me to contribute to both Hong Kong and the mainland.”

Tang was hotly tipped to be elected into the standing committee of the CPPCC, but he declined to comment on that. He said he believed his experience as a former legislator and chief secretary, and his business connections, will help him fulfil his role as a CPPCC member.