Former buildings chief Leung Chin-man might have a case against the Audit Commission's report on his handling of the land grant to Henderson Land. But his initial decision not to answer questions at a Legislative Council hearing put him and the government in a vulnerable situation. Now that transparency and accountability have become an integral part of the city's political culture, ordinary people will view the political drama with some doubt and scepticism. They could be pardoned for believing Mr Leung might have something to hide. Many hold the view that Legco is, and has always been, a theatre of political showbiz. When it comes to the question of ensuring officials have stuck to the principle of value-for-money in public finances, they would consider the Public Accounts Committee the legitimate watchdog to whom Mr Leung should be answerable. The surprise move by Mr Leung flew in the face of Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's pledge to lead a strong government with greater responsiveness, accountability and transparency. The tussle between housing minister Michael Suen Ming-yeung and Mr Leung over the latter's testimony at the committee meeting will deepen people's suspicions. The dramatic turn of events came after the rare and swift move by Mr Tsang to try to defuse a potential political bombshell when the deal with Henderson Land came to light in the auditor's findings. At a time when the political temperature is rising ahead of a pro-democracy rally on Sunday, officials were clearly hoping the appointment of an independent committee to look into the case would help to quieten public discontent. The clarification by Henderson Land over the case and the defence of Mr Leung by a group of property-related professionals in newspaper advertisements have, ironically, muddled the row. Now that a government-appointed panel and the Public Accounts Committee have launched their own investigations, Mr Leung's application for a judicial review has brought the row into the courtroom. How the drama unfolds could upset the delicate balance of power between the three branches. Importantly, it looks set to cause more disquiet in the political scene as the city enters a sensitive period.