When one hears a shot, the sensible move would be to lie low and avoid becoming the next target. That was what Donald Tsang Yam-kuen did yesterday after his education minister was embroiled in a row over alleged interference with academic freedom. But despite the fact that the chief executive knows how to duck, the cannon that fired the unexpected shell is set to be hijacked and aimed at a bigger target, namely Mr Tsang, if he reacts too late to the dispute. When pressed to comment on the row between his education secretary Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, ICAC commissioner Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun and the Hong Kong Institute of Education leadership yesterday, Mr Tsang chose to keep his lips sealed. It might seem a sensible move because, in addition to not being directly involved in the row, public opinion has yet to decide on who is in the right or wrong in the matter. But his opponents in Alan Leong Kah-kit's camp were jubilant that such a 'heavenly gift' had fallen into their laps. 'Nobody can help Donald now although we did not plan the bomb. But no one would be so stupid as to let the matter drop from the campaign armoury,' said a pan-democratic source. 'It makes a joke out of his strong governance pledge as he cannot even control his aides.' The Leong camp cannot be blamed for using the row to attack the incumbent, who has vowed to 'get the job done'. While it is unknown what Mr Tsang's spin doctors have done behind the scenes so far, several newspapers quoted 'government sources' pointing out that Bernard Luk Hung-kay, vice-president of the institute, was actually a founding member of the Civic Party to which Mr Leong belongs. Political analyst Ivan Choy Chi-keung, of Chinese University, said Mr Tsang could suffer if he did not quickly distance himself from his subordinates. He may be wise to heed the Chinese proverb that says it is wiser to drop the knight to protect the general, especially when there is another war going on.