In a rare public display of annoyance, the financial secretary has spoken out against a lawmaker's antics, suggesting the latter is an "irritating, troublesome" person who deserves to be cursed.
On his official blog yesterday, John Tsang Chun-wah criticised "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung, who chairs the radical League of Social Democrats, for daring to bully only those he knew would not retaliate.
Tsang's verbal attack on Leung came after Wednesday's incident in the Legislative Council, where Leung hurled "hell notes" - paper money burned in Chinese rituals as offerings to the dead - at Tsang during a protest.
The financial secretary told Leung to "go away" before the lawmaker was escorted out by Legco security officers.
On his blog, Tsang wrote that the incident with Leung reminded him of his secondary school days in New York, where street fights were common.
"For me, I found one type of person especially displeasing," he wrote. "They would look ferocious, but in fact they would choose to 'show off their power' only in front of those they knew would not hit back at them, so that they could safely stage a show in front of others."
Tsang said he would usually try to tolerate such "troublesome people" and politely tell them to "go away".
"But if they continue to pester me, sometimes I will add an 'adverb' to express my stance more directly and clearly," he said, implying the use of vulgarities.
However, he was quick to add that his parents had taught him not to use vulgarities.
"I think a simple reply should be fine in the face of impolite provocation," he wrote. "Even though the provocation may be malicious, I think it is still better not to use other 'adverbs' [in making your point]."
After last week's farce in Legco, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor asked Legco president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing to review the chamber's security.
Describing Leung's behaviour as disorderly, Lam said public officers attending Legco meetings should receive the same respect as any council member and that they should not be subjected to any intimidating or abusive acts by members.
In a government forum in December, Tsang was hit on the head by an egg thrown by a League of Social Democrats protester. At that time, Tsang responded: "Luckily I'm not wearing a good suit today."