Hong Kong chief executive contenders’ spouses join campaign push with Valentine’s Day messages

Carrie Lam’s husband speaks of hope that she will continue to contribute to ‘one country, two systems’, while John Tsang’s wife recalls university romance

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 February, 2017, 3:17pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 February, 2017, 9:30pm

The two front runners to be the city’s next chief executive have marked Valentine’s Day by getting their better halves to share their love stories online.

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor posted a letter from her husband – along with a recent photo of the couple – saying he hoped she could continue to contribute to “one country, two systems”.

And John Tsang Chun-wah‘s wife made a video interview, in which she showed a book that Tsang handmade as a gift for her in their college days.

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Another candidate, Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, whose husband died in 1997, handed out flowers to passers-by in redeveloped Lee Tung Street, also known as “Wedding Card Street”, in Wan Chai

In a rare public statement, Lam Siu-por, Lam’s mathematician husband, wrote in the letter posted on his wife’s campaign Facebook page that, to begin with, he had not been keen on her plan to run for the top job.

“I didn’t object because you’re passionate about work, and I did not agree because of my selfishness,” the letter read.

He said he and Lam had had little time together over the years because of work and because they had to take care of their children.

“So I have looked forward to revisiting our old sweet days: travelling, movies and shopping together,” he said. But he decided to set aside his “selfishness” after seeing people from all walks of life supporting her to run for the city’s leadership, he said, adding that he believed she could “contribute to ‘one country, two systems’”.

Lam explained his absence from her debut rally earlier this month. “I have been unwilling to make a public appearance because I want to keep a low profile,” he wrote. “As seen in the photo attached, I don’t care much about my looks, and I don’t want to face the crowd… But my support for you is infinite”.

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Tsang’s wife Tsang Wong Lynn-wah delivered her message on Monday.

In a video posted on Tsang’s campaign page, she recalled how they began their romance during Thanksgiving in their first year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States.

“I don’t think he’s a romantic type. He has never said those three words,” she said.

But she said he did express his feelings for her in a book Tsang made with sketch paper and strings, titled A Projection, a compilation of their story with photos and calligraphy. To a photo of the young couple, he gave the caption: “Me and my dear”.

Tsang was also a good problem solver back then, his wife said, recalling that he helped her with her nursing homework even though he had not studied it.

“I just got into my first year and I had little clue about how things were done when I got an assignment from a professor,” she said.

She went on to say that Tsang “just took a look and was able to write a few pages on the topic. I found it so incredible.”

She described Tsang as a “very free-spirited man”.

“He never forced me to do anything. But I know he’s a civil servant, so I’ve been very careful when I want to do something and ask him for advice. His answer would always be: ‘Up to you’,” she said.

The other candidate, retired judge Woo Kwok-hing, was the last to pick up on the Valentine’s theme. He uploaded a video of himself at 6.30pm to say “I love you” to his wife. “Sorry, I have been too busy to spend time with you. I’ll hurry off after this meeting tonight and join you for dinner.”