Lew Mon-hung, the bête noire of the pan-democrats, has suddenly become their godsend. Just when they thought they had squeezed the last mileage out of the furore over Leung Chun-ying's illegal structures at his Peak home, Lew jumped before the cameras and promised to spill more beans.
How this loose cannon became a key supporter of Leung Chun-ying when the latter was running for chief executive is anyone's guess. Leung's election team, led by Barry Cheung Chun-yuen and Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun, now Executive Council members, must have been incorrigibly naive, incompetent and/or desperate. Now Lew is demanding payback and vowing vengeance.
Why the turnaround and why should we care?
Lew claimed Cheung told him Leung fabricated the story about having hired three professionals to check his Peak residence to make sure it had no illegal structures, a claim Cheung has denied.
When you make a serious public accusation like that, you had better provide credible proof. Not in Hong Kong, though. So far Lew has offered nothing, other than his words and his honour. But that's enough for our fruity media to report that Leung has lied, LIED, we tell you! And for pan-dems like Cyd Ho Sau-lan to threaten to invoke special legislative powers and privileges to summon Lew, Leung and others to testify before the legislature.
Lew is usually described as a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. In a less flattering light, he is also deputy chairman and executive director of Pearl Oriental Oil, a listed energy company which was suspended from trading early this month and is being investigated by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Lew admitted it was his recent trouble and Leung's failure to appoint him - as he had allegedly promised - to Exco and another top advisory body that prompted his latest action. It would indeed be a scandal if Leung had made the appointments. This is not the first time Lew has caused trouble. During last year's election, Fanny Law got into trouble for attending a dinner arranged by Lew at which an alleged triad figure was present.
How should the public react to the latest news? Well, let's see the evidence, in the absence of which Lew is no more than a crank.