Hong Kong’s ‘Mr Pringles’ John Tsang chips in for charity with potato meal

Beaten election hopeful appears at famine fundraiser, but stays tight-lipped on future

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 June, 2017, 8:28pm
UPDATED : Monday, 05 June, 2017, 9:31pm

John Tsang Chun-wah may have shunned the limelight since losing the chief executive election, but he was back in the public eye on Monday, appealing for help for people caught in the famine afflicting parts of Africa.

The man known as “Mr Pringles” joined five charities to kick off their campaign, downing a simple meal of boiled potatoes.

The campaign aimed to encourage people to eat a simple meal and donate the cash they would have spent on a nicer one. The money is to help nearly 20 million people starving in East Africa, including in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan.

“This is not as tasty as the potato skins grilled with bacon and cheese that I have in restaurants, but I believe this meal is already much better than what the [famine victims] have.” Tsang said.

“I hope Hongkongers, from an affluent city, consider helping the poor, suffering elsewhere.”

It was the former financial secretary’s second appearance at a charity event since he lost the chief executive poll in March. But he shied away from questions about his future plans and recent controversial political issues.

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“I haven’t given much thought to [my personal plan]. It’s only been a couple of months. I am still enjoying my holiday,” he said.

He was addressing questions on whether he would support anyone in the Legislative Council by-election, join James Tien Pei-chun in an alliance mooted by the honorary Liberal Party chairman, or join the cabinet of the city’s next leader, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.

Asked about turnout at Sunday’s annual June 4 vigil being the lowest since 2008, he said: “I haven’t read the newspaper today.”

Tsang said that on June 4, he had just relaxed and “ate some meals.”