John Tsang open to naming street or place after Bruce Lee, if elected as Hong Kong’s chief executive

The race’s popular underdog says in Facebook Live chat that kung fu movie icon inspired him as a youth in America

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 February, 2017, 10:52pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 February, 2017, 11:42pm

John Tsang Chun-wah has made an unexpected campaign promise, committing himself to officially honouring kung fu legend Bruce Lee if he is elected as the next chief executive.

During his Facebook Live interview with the Post yesterday, Tsang sounded enthusiastic about addressing fans’ long-running complaints about the city’s failure to even name a road or building after its most famous son.

“I think naming a street, a road, or an avenue after Bruce Lee would be welcomed in Hong Kong. I would love it, I would love to see that,” he said.

Watch: John Tsang talks to SCMP about his CE bid, the Silver Surfer and Bruce Lee

Asked if he would act on it if he wins next month’s election, the former finance minister replied: “I would certainly give consideration to that ... And I think we need to work harder on it, and really consider that.”

Fans of Bruce Lee, frustrated by the government’s seeming reluctance to give the martial arts movie icon the full recognition they feel he deserves, have speculated that an official taboo exists following his death in mysterious circumstances in 1973. But Tsang, a martial arts enthusiast who has written about his passion, denied that was the case.

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

Instead, he acknowledged the wider cultural and social impact that Lee had on the global stage, and how in his youth, he was personally inspired by the star.

“Growing up in the US, I know that very well,” he said. “As you know in the US, there are a lot of stereotypes – a type of view of Asians in America – and with Bruce Lee, it changed a lot of that.

“He gave Asians manhood, and that’s something that has never happened in America.”

Tsang added that he had personally experienced racism, but had fought back. “I lived in the US for almost 20 years and had many fights in the streets because of these insults. You win some and lose some – can’t win them all.”