Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s controversial new media spin doctor on Thursday moved to kill rumours about his personal life after a “racy” photograph was circulated on social media.
Just hours after Andrew Fung Wai-kwong, was handed the HK$175,000-a-month job as Leung’s media pointman on Tuesday, a photo was released on social media showing the 52-year-old smiling broadly with his arms around two – apparently younger – women. A Facebook user, named “Pat Right” posted the picture on the social network on Tuesday with a caption which suggested that Fung had attended a massage parlour, but on Thursday Fung told the South China Morning Post that it was not the case.
“They are my two OL (office lady) friends in Taiwan … and the picture was posted by me last year when we had dinner in a restaurant in Taipei with about a dozen friends, including a Taiwan Next Magazine reporter,” Fung said.
Fung said he would apologise to his two friends because “as a public figure, I don’t mind living under a magnifying glass, but to search for my OL friends’ [personal particular on the internet] affects their work, and it’s unfair to them.”
“When they met me and took the picture with me last year, they didn’t know I was a politician and would be appointed to such a position,” he added. Fung’s Facebook records appear to confirm his explanation is correct.
A Southern District councillor and public relations consultant, Fung was named information co-ordinator for the Office of the Chief Executive on Tuesday. He will take up the post on December 16.
Fung used to sit on the Democratic Party’s central committee, and was understood he has resigned from his role as district councillor and is stepping away from his public consultancy firm PR Concepts, which caused chaos at October’s Arts Development Council election due to faulty ballot papers.
His suitability for the job was questioned by politicians from both pan-democratic and pro-Beijing camps in the wake of his appointment.