Leung Chun-ying

Hong Kong chief executive’s wife hits out at DAB head over comments on daughter’s condition

Starry Lee accused of making ‘spurious comments’ after claiming that Leung Chai-yan was very ill

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 December, 2016, 4:15pm
UPDATED : Monday, 26 December, 2016, 11:09pm

Hong Kong’s first lady has hit back in public at “spurious comments” by the head of the city’s largest pro-government party about her troubled daughter’s health and their relationship.

The chief executive’s wife, ­Regina Leung Tong Ching-yee, expressed regret on Monday at ­Starry Lee Wai-king’s recent ­remarks about Leung Chai-yan’s condition and the relationship between mother and daughter.

“[Lee] does not know the inside story and should not make such spurious comments,” Regina Leung said at an open day ceremony for the Girl Guides’ Centenary International Camp.

Lee, chairwoman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said in an online radio programme last Wednesday that Leung’s elder daughter, 25, who was recently admitted to hospital, was “very ill”.

“We all know that Chai-yan and her mother are not on good terms and that’s a fact,” Lee said.

The pro-Beijing politician was responding to questions by former Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing on Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s reasons for not seeking a second term.

Lee explained that Chai-yan’s health was a key reason why Leung made the shock decision.

Regina Leung recalled on Monday that she had told Lee personally over a meal a week before the radio interview that Chai-yan was in “good condition”.

“I don’t understand why she made those remarks ... I believe it was her own speculation,” Regina Leung said.

Lee responded to the Post’s ­inquiries by message, but would only say she was glad to know Chai-yan was in good health and expressed her “sincere wishes for her speedy recovery”.

Chai-yan, the Leungs’ second of three children, is understood to have been a patient at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin for at least a month. The parents were seen visiting the hospital several times earlier this month, but Regina Leung on Monday refused to confirm if Chai-yan was still there.

Although the chief executive refused to ­divulge any details of Chai-yan’s condition when he announced his retirement, he said he wanted to spare his family the “unbearable pressure” of running for ­re-election.

Chai-yan’s health first became a matter of speculation when she posted a wrist-slashing picture on Facebook in mid-2014, with the caption: “Will I bleed to death?”

Tong had then criticised the media’s coverage of Chai-yan’s troubles and also called political commentator Ivan Choy Chi-keung “shallow, ignorant, cold-blooded and unfeeling” for related comments published in a Chinese newspaper article.

On Halloween last year, Chai-yan was seen arguing with her mother and slapping her twice in the face in the Lan Kwai Fong bar district.