Betty Tung Chiu Hung-ping was not her usual self in her first public appearance since the media storm broke over her husband's political future. The normally talkative and bubbly first lady took on a more sober demeanour yesterday as she arrived at a Red Cross tsunami conference dressed in a black skirt suit. Breaking from her usual practice of bantering with reporters and offering memorable words of wisdom such as how working couples can revitalise a slice of stale bread with a microwave, she chose to leave the conference through a back door. Mrs Tung, president of the Hong Kong Red Cross, delivered her address and left unnoticed by the media pack at the main entrance, eagerly awaiting her comments on the speculation surrounding her husband. Chief Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, meanwhile, emerged from the conference with his entourage on the red-carpeted steps of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine and climbed into a waiting black Mercedes. Another member of the Tung family, Mr Tung's sister Alice King, spent the evening hosting an exhibition by artists Wucius Wong and Pat Hui at her Central gallery, Alisan Fine Arts. She declined to comment on her brother's health, which had been cited as a possible reason for his departure, saying it was not an appropriate time to discuss such matters.