HK Magazine Archive

The Next Big Thing: Courses to make you the next CY Leung

One day you woke up with a dream: To be the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong! Here’s everything you need to rise to the top of the political pile.

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 August, 2015, 4:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 4:48pm

1) Get some background.

CY Leung is renowned for his grip on the international political landscape. Why else would he keep bleating on about “foreign forces?” Better learn exactly what those foreign forces are. An “Introduction to World Politics, Incorporating Political Theories, Beliefs and Actions” certificate from The Knowledge Academy takes five days and will set you back $70,195, but once you have it, all those rebellious students are bound to start giving you the respect you deserve. Right?
The Knowledge Academy, Room 907 Silvercord Tower 2, 30 Canton Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui,

2) Speak to the people.

If you want to do well in politics, you’re going to need to learn to talk proper. Take a professional development course aimed at getting your public speaking up to scratch. HKU Space ( offers courses which emphasize theater-based training in order to get you really projecting that voice ($3,700). You might even learn to let slip a crocodile tear or two. Alternatively, public speaking organization Toastmasters HK ( is all about helping you work on your public speaking in a supportive environment. Now look at yourself in the mirror and repeat clearly: “A broadly representative nominating committee falls within the spirit of the Basic Law.”

3) Learn your wines.

Any self-respecting aspiring politician has to know his way around a French winery. Hong Kong winemaker Eddie MacDougall, aka the Flying Winemaker (, runs classes designed to help you tell your Alsace from your elbow. Classes are in the $200 range and include topics such as “No Bullshit Burgundy,” so you’ll never be struck dumb in a tasting at the Hong Kong Club ever again. Take it further by signing up for a professional wine qualification at the Asia Wine Service and Education Centre (15/F, Kai Tak Commercial Building, 317-319 Des Voeux Rd. Central, Sheung Wan, 2964-0188). Four courses for varying levels of expertise start at $1,280 and ensure you can drop mad booze knowledge to impress visiting Beijing dignitaries.

4) Woo the tycoons.

Need to persuade a powerful tycoon to back you? Nothing impresses like inviting them round for a home-cooked meal. Learn to cook classic cuisine at the Chinese Cuisine Training Institute, which offers everything from full-time professional culinary qualifications to four-hour immersion courses. The “Fun Kitchen” ($880 per person, minimum 10 people) takes you through cooking your selection of classic dishes, from dim sum specialties to Sichuan standards. You’ll even get a lunch cooked for you, just to show you how it should have been done. With these skills you’ll sway those tycoons to your side in no time. Hope you remembered the abalone.
7/F, VTC Pokfulam Complex, 145 Pokfulam Rd., 2538-2200,

5) Control your subjects.

Congratulations! You’re in charge of Hong Kong. You’re going to have a lot of unruly subjects to govern. Mediation agency G2G ( holds five-day mediation workshops for executives (from $15,000) that should help you get the truculent public to toe the line. Alternatively, you might find yourself having to put down the uppity hoi polloi with extreme prejudice: A few rounds of laser tag at LaserMads (from $158 per game, 6 Yee Wo St., Causeway Bay, 2343-3033, will run you through the basics of crowd control, militia style.

6) Retire.

Uh oh. Everybody hates you and it’s time to make yourself scarce. Dedicate yourself to the ultimate retirement pursuit: sport fishing. Captain Carmine Vastola dubs himself one of the SAR’s most experienced recreational fisherman. His boat, the 32-foot Thai Lady, is available for everything from inshore squid fishing to much more elaborate offshore oil rig trips. A day’s fishing (in a group) starts at $1,000. Vastola has also recently picked up a huge 90-foot fishing vessel, if you’re looking for deep-sea fish. Or maybe it’s just a good place to hide out when they come looking for you.

Who else do you want to be?

Li Ka-shing!
Wong Kar-wai!
Apple Chan, Office Lady/Crimefighter!