Leung Chun-ying’s new information co-ordinator made his debut at Wednesday’s policy address by taking charge of the media conference where the chief executive explained his governing plans.
But the key occasion soon descended into chaos as a confused Andrew Fung Wai-kwong fumbled while allocating reporters from various news outlets to ask questions in turn.
Beijing-friendly television station Phoenix TV got to field two questions, but seven major broadsheets including Ming Pao, Sing Tao Daily and the Hong Kong Economic Journal were not selected at all.
When Fung realised he had called out to a second Phoenix reporter, he stuck out his tongue and whispered: “I didn’t know!”
He also named two reporters each from TVB and RTHK.
Fung, who was just one month into his job, failed to display any chemistry with his boss Leung.
And even though the 45-minute news conference was already 15 minutes short of the usual one hour set aside for the annual session, Fung tried to end everything prematurely.
Leung stopped him. “There are still three more minutes,” the chief executive said.
The scene went out of control as impatient journalists shouted out their questions instead of waiting for Fung to invite them.
In yet another faux pas, Fung invited a question from the first reporter before the chief executive, whom he called his “CEO”, had finished his speech.
“You [the reporters] are all my bosses while Leung is my CEO. It is like a listed company,” said Fung, who used to run a public relations firm before he joined the government on December 16.
He tried to impress by making fun of previous controversies about him that came to light before he took office.
“I cannot call on only female journalists to answer questions,” the bachelor said, referring to a photo showing him in a cosy pose with “two Taiwanese female friends” that drew media attention.
Fung’s “CEO”, Leung, spent much of the session elaborating on the design of the policy address book, which contains 16,588 words in English and 24,074 words in Chinese, 15 per cent and 12 per cent down from last year’s speech.
“The 11 young people featuring on the cover of the policy address come from different background with different skills,” Leung said. “Some of them have even won awards before.”