Until last week, the softly spoken wife of acting Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen had largely stayed out of the limelight. But with her husband's elevation, Selina Tsang Pow Siu-mei will soon find that the first lady is often subject to as much media attention as their other half. Observers say reporters and gossip columnists will miss Tung Chee-hwa's wife, Betty Tung Chiu Hung-ping, who was renowned for her amusing and colourful remarks and often gave informed advice on the issues of the day. By contrast, when asked about her husband's career last week, Mrs Tsang replied: 'How would I know how to answer such difficult questions?' But observers said the demure Mrs Tsang would help bolster her husband's image as a strong, decisive leader. Mrs Tsang was born into a high-profile family in Macau, where her parents ran a pastry business. She began working as a secretary in the oil industry before meeting Mr Tsang in Hong Kong. They married in 1969 and have two sons, one of whom married last year. As a homemaker for a civil servant, Mrs Tsang was required only to make the occasional low-profile public appearance, usually at charity affairs. Fashion experts have criticised her for dressing too traditionally. But Mrs Tsang is perceived as a quiet, caring wife, and is often seen hand in hand with her husband on their trips to church, markets and cinemas. They are both devout Catholics and regularly frequent St Joseph's Church in Garden Road, sometimes attending weekend Mass at the Catholic Cathedral in Caine Road. Parishioners say the couple, who like to sit in the front row, are courteous, but seldom socialise with others. Skilled in Chinese calligraphy, Mrs Tsang's art pieces are often given as gifts to guests by her husband. Public relations expert Andy Ho On-tat says the important role of the first lady often shapes the image of the government leader. 'Tung is seen as a weak chief executive, while his wife is very strong. This has reinforced the image of a weak leadership,' Mr Ho says. 'But since Donald Tsang gives people the impression of being a quick-tempered person, the modest and low-profile Mrs Tsang is a perfect match.' He says given Mrs Tsang's cultured and refined background, it will not be difficult for her to handle the media attention. 'And her sense of fashion is only a small matter,' he says.