Donald Tsang

‘This is no longer in my hands’: Resigned to his fate, Donald Tsang has no regrets in choosing life of politics

Chinese-language newspaper publishes column from former chief executive following trial

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 February, 2017, 1:35pm
UPDATED : Monday, 20 February, 2017, 11:32pm

Despite the likelihood of being jailed for misconduct in office, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen said he had no regrets, reflecting on his ordeal and impending fate.

In an emotional column published yesterday in Chinese-language newspaper AM730, the disgraced former leader of the city also thanked his wife and family for their support over the past five years of “torment” since the Independent Commission Against Corruption first began investigating allegations of bribery and misconduct against him.

The case was brought to court three years later in 2015, and, at the end of a six-week trial, Tsang last Friday was found guilty of misconduct in office between 2010 and 2012. The former chief executive now faces a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.

The column, titled It Will Always Be In My Heart, was published ahead of yesterday’s court session at the end of which he was remanded in custody pending sentencing tomorrow. It was not clear when the article was written.

“When this article is published, the investigation and trial, which have been troubling my family and me over the past five years, will have concluded,” he wrote. “I do not know what the result will be – be it a sad one or a happy one – this is no longer in my hands.”

He went on to state: “In life, sometimes there are things not up to you to decide. But as for serving Hong Kong, that’s my choice. No matter what the result of the trial is, I will not regret it at all.”

I owe it to my family, especially my wife of almost 50 years, for putting up with the torture of the past five years
Donald Tsang

Recalling more than four decades in public service, he listed his major challenges and triumphs in office. That included how he helped set up Hong Kong’s first baseball team, saw the city’s economy through the 1997 financial crisis, and battled the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic of 2003.

“I owe it to my family, especially my wife of almost 50 years, for putting up with the torment of the past five years,” he wrote of Selina Tsang Pou Siu-mei, who was by his side throughout his trial.

“She always showed me the most understanding smile and held my hand ... Without her company, I have not a clue how I could have made it through the past five years of sorrow and hardship.”

He also thanked everyone who had supported him through his ordeal.

Tsang, a devout Catholic, ended his column with the Serenity Prayer, authored by American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr: “God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed ...”

The messages of support he had received from the public would always be in his heart, he said.