It turned out to be astoundingly prophetic. 'The possibility of the rolling of two to three heads can not be ruled out,' Tsang Yok-sing told the South China Morning Post on Wednesday afternoon. 'Mrs [Regina] Ip has planned to study abroad. It is also possible that Mr [Antony] Leung will not be able to stay because of the car-purchase incident.' Although he may not have known it at the time, Mr Tsang proved prescient. Sitting in his Legislative Council member office in Central late on Wednesday afternoon - before the shock resignations of Secretary for Security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee and Financial Secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung - Mr Tsang was in a relaxed mood. He spoke about what had been widely viewed as the most serious leadership crisis in Hong Kong: the three mass demonstrations in as many weeks and the resignation of Liberal Party chairman James Tien Pei-chun from the Executive Council. 'The mass rallies have dealt a blow to the governance,' said Mr Tsang, one of the remaining four ministers without portfolio in the Executive Council and chairman of the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong. 'Someone said the team and system have collapsed. This is not the case. 'The resignation of James Tien from the Exco has not and will not have a major impact on the team,' said Mr Tsang. Mr Tien relinquished his Exco post on July 6 because his calls to delay the final readings of the National Security Bill, then scheduled for July 9, were rejected. With the Liberals' eight votes in Legco switching to the opposition camp after Mr Tien's about-face, Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa convened a crisis meeting in the small hours of July 7 and decided to defer the bill. The deferral effectively averted a sharp confrontation between opponents and supporters of the internal security bill on July 9, but deepened the worst political crisis for Mr Tung in his six-year stint as Chief Executive. Hours after the government announcement at 2am on July 7 that the bill would be deferred, Mr Tung returned to work and told reporters that the government would soon announce ways to address public concerns as expressed by the July 1 rally attended by about 500,000 people. Since then, some Exco members have made conflicting remarks on matters such as whether a general resignation of all ministers should be tendered. At one stage four ministers reportedly resigned, a rumour that has since been denied. Much speculation surrounded the flurry of visits by mainland officials to hold low-key talks with Hong Kong people about recent developments and what should be done. According to unconfirmed reports, members of the Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee have also met to discuss Hong Kong's political crisis. Publicly, Mr Tung has remained silent - offering reporters waiting in the lobby of his office little more than 'good morning' - thus sparking more criticism of him and increasing anxiety about the political situation. According to Mr Tsang, Mr Tung has conducted one-on-one meetings with Exco members since July 1 on what should be done. However, a brainstorming session for the whole team, originally scheduled for last weekend, was cancelled. In his interview with the Post, Mr Tsang said he was told that the brainstorming session might be held this weekend. Evidently the Exco member was not aware of the drastic shake-up of the Tung team that was looming at the time. The brainstorming session this weekend will have to be rescheduled, because Mr Tung is now due to visit Beijing tomorrow. The announcement of the Beijing trip came close on the heels of Mrs Ip's and Mr Leung's resignations. At 7.07pm on Wednesday, Mr Tung's office issued a statement and announced he had accepted the resignation of the Security Minister. It revealed Mrs Ip, who was at the centre of the political storm surrounding the Article 23 legislation, had tendered her resignation on June 25, citing 'personal grounds' for her decision. About 20 minutes later, Mrs Ip issued a statement addressed to 'My dear citizens', in which she expressed her gratitude to Mr Tung, government colleagues, legislators, media and her supporters. Mr Tung said in a statement he had tried to persuade Mrs Ip to stay on or to go on long leave before deciding her future. Reports of Mrs Ip's plan to take a long sabbatical of between one and two years to accompany her daughter to study in the United States, beginning in autumn, have been making the rounds of government for several months. They have never been officially confirmed. Few expected a formal resignation, however. Observers say Mr Tung was impressed by Mrs Ip's abilities and would have liked her to stay. At 9.23pm on Wednesday, Mr Tung's office issued another statement and said he had accepted the resignation of the Financial Secretary with immediate effect. Twelve minutes later, Mr Leung issued his own statement, saying his leaving may be 'good timing'. A government source said Mr Leung advised Mr Tung after the July 1 rally of the need to reshuffle his cabinet. Mr Leung reportedly indicated his intention to resign on Tuesday and on Wednesday this week. The source said that shortly after 8pm on Wednesday, Mr Leung formally tendered his resignation. Mr Tung accepted it with immediate effect to avoid speculation in the financial markets, according to another source. A senior government official said: 'Only a very small number of people knew what was going on on Wednesday. Most of the ministers were informed about the resignations after the announcements were made. 'The whole thing has been kept in strict confidentiality for obvious reasons. But most of us sensed something was going to happen. Mr Tung had said clearly the government would soon respond. Everyone had been guessing. Very few people knew yesterday was the day,' she said. The official said the resignation of Mr Leung had not come as a great surprise given that he had offered to step down in March, shortly after the controversy. Mr Leung, a former banker who took up the post of the financial secretary three years ago, was mired in an integrity crisis after it was revealed he had bought a luxury car in January - two months before he increased car registration tax in his March Budget. Mr Tung praised as honourable Mr Leung's offer to resign in March, and asked him to reconsider his decision. Although the timing of his resignation on Wednesday night has given rise to much conjecture, the official insisted it had nothing to do with the announcement of Mrs Ip's resignation. 'When Mr Leung told Mr Tung verbally he wanted to resign on Tuesday and Wednesday, he [Mr Leung] had no idea about Mrs Ip's resignation,' said the first government source. Uncertainty over the fate of Mr Leung emerged on Tuesday after the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) submitted an investigation report on the car-purchase scandal to the Security for Justice Elsie Leung Oi-sie. Officials would not comment on whether there was any connection between the ICAC report and his resignation. Mr Tsang said on Wednesday afternoon that the mass protests and Mr Tien's resignation did not mean 'the whole government is in tatters'. How much can change in just a few hours.