Poor Betty Tung Chiu Hung-ping. The normally outspoken chief executive's wife used to have words of advice for everyone which would inevitably be turned into mocking news stories and cartoon caricatures at her expense. Now she is keeping mum at all costs.
No doubt she is feeling the pressure as her husband's cabinet teeters on the verge of collapse. In recent days, she has been avoiding public events, but as chairwoman of the Hong Kong Red Cross, there was no way she could skip a $1 million cheque presentation by Shenzhen's Mission Hills golf club this week. She declined to give a speech there and seemed to want to leave so badly that she forgot to pick up a souvenir. Newshounds, sensing blood, were closing in for the kill. But Tung just shut up like a clam. One picture in Apple Daily showed a determined first lady with her lips pressed so tight it looked like it must have hurt.