John Tsang says in Facebook Live chat he identifies with tortured superhero Silver Surfer

But he would not be drawn into any cheeky comparisons pegging the character and its all-powerful master, to himself and former boss Leung Chun-ying

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 February, 2017, 10:41pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 February, 2017, 11:42pm

John Tsang Chun-wah’s ability to connect with younger Hongkongers in particular was on full display during his Facebook Live interview with the Post yesterday as he chatted about his love of comics and superheroes.

Asked to name his favourite hero, the popular underdog in the city’s leadership race picked the Silver Surfer – immediately impressing fans with his knowledge and choice of a character more nuanced and complex than more famous peers such as Iron Man or the Hulk.

“He is a contradictory type of character,” Tsang said of the alien humanoid who traverses the cosmos on a personal spacecraft the size and shape of a surfboard. “I mean you cannot say that he is like Superman, a totally good guy. There are a lot of conflicts within him – I like that sort of person.”

The Silver Surfer story is one of a powerful but tortured hero, forced to hunt for new worlds to be consumed by his master, the planet-devouring being known as Galactus.

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Tsang would not be drawn into any tongue-in-cheek comparison between himself as the surfer during his years as finance minister and his former boss Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying as the all-powerful Galactus.

But he went on to explain his fascination for his favourite hero: “Everyone, even superheroes, they have their limitations and I think we don’t want to make a superhero someone who is totally powerful, and can do anything.

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“So a superhero with limitations is realistic, and I think this is something – [the surfer has] a lot of good human characteristics that are important for any leader in Hong Kong.”

He revealed that he was a comics collector as well: “I still own the first edition of Silver Surfer.”

Sixty-five-year-old Tsang, a keen fencer and martial arts enthusiast, was also philosophical about being confronted in the past by radical lawmakers with physically threatening behaviour in the Legislative Council.

Asked if he had ever felt like inviting an adversary to step outside the chamber to settle matters man to man, he said: “No, there’s no need. I mean they are just gesturing. One-on-one, I have every confidence that I can take on anybody.”

Anyone? “Yes, anyone.”