Greg So takes the ‘ice bucket challenge’ to thaw relations with HKTV boss Ricky Wong

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 August, 2014, 5:14pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 August, 2014, 3:42am

An international charity challenge took on a political flavour in the city yesterday, with the head of the Hong Kong Television Network getting a chilling revenge on the man who poured cold water on his broadcasting dreams.

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So Kam-leung became the first top official to complete the Ice Bucket Challenge, at the instigation of HKTV boss Ricky Wong Wai-kay. Environment minister Wong Kam-sing will follow suit by having a bucket of iced water plunged over his head today.

But Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and constitutional affairs minister Raymond Tam Chi-yuen have declined, pledging to make donations instead.

The challenge - accepted by everyone from Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg to soccer ace Cristiano Ronaldo and singer Taylor Swift - is intended to raise awareness of, and money for, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or motor neurone disease.

Participants must make a donation and challenge three others to take part, with those who decline giving more money.

A spokesman for the Chief Executive's Office said Leung would give US$100 to the American ALS Association, instigator of the challenge, and HK$10,000 to the Hong Kong Neuro-Muscular Disease Association.

So accepted the challenge from Ricky Wong, with whom he has had a testy relationship since HKTV's bid for a free-to-air licence was rejected last year.

"I want to thank Ricky for nominating me," So told reporters before drenching himself at Tamar Park, Admiralty. "There were different views at times. But the most important thing is communication... here I would like to cite the phrase 'old qualms disappear like melting ice'."

Wong and political assistant Michelle Au Wing-tsz will take on the challenge this afternoon after being nominated by lawmaker Kenneth Leung.

Leung's name was put forward by Civic Party lawmaker Dr Kenneth Chan Ka-lok, who also challenged Beijing's liaison office chief Zhang Xiaoming and pro-establishment march organiser Robert Chow Yung. Chan hoped a drenching would give the trio "cool heads to work in Hong Kong's interest".

And pan-democrats have also been challenged. Beijing-loyalist Leticia Lee See-yin called out media mogul Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang and the Civic Party's Claudia Mo Man-ching after her soaking yesterday.

Other big-names soaked for charity include film star Andy Lau Tak-wah and, last night, Chinese University Vice-Chancellor Professor Joseph Sung Jao-yiu.