POLITICS
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Leung Chun-ying

Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung admits daughter has been receiving medical treatment

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 March, 2015, 5:16am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 March, 2015, 11:09am

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying made a rare plea to the public yesterday to leave his elder daughter alone, as he admitted for the first time that she was receiving medical treatment for emotional instability.

Addressing the public and media after Leung Chai-yan, 23, found herself in the spotlight over dramatic social media posts and a call to police, Leung said: "Please give us more space and time.

"Every parent has this feeling. Every parent around the world in his or her heart thinks alike. Only a son or daughter would say something unpleasant about their parents, and not vice versa."

He admitted, for the first time, that his daughter had experienced unspecified "health problems" since going to Britain to study.

The drama began at about 6am, when a post appeared on Chai-yan's Facebook page saying her mother had assaulted her. Her father later denied that any such assault had happened.

One posting read: "My mother just literally pushed me up against a wall slapped me [sic]. I fell, hit my spine against corner of study table."

At 11am police officers and an ambulance turned up at the family's residence, Government House in Central. Chai-yan is understood to have dialled 999, saying she had been assaulted.

Leung said he left the weekly Executive Council meeting midway through and "immediately rushed back".

The chief executive faced the media at 3.30pm, and denied that his wife, Regina Leung Tong Ching-yi, had been violent towards Chai-yan or that their daughter had been barred from leaving for hospital - claims that were on the publicly viewable Facebook page until it was removed at lunchtime.

When asked whether Chai-yan was assaulted, Leung said: "No. When I returned [home], police said no one was hurt.

"As the 20-something daughter of a principal public officer, she has been facing tremendous pressure," he added. "I definitely don't want to say anything that might affect her … recovery."

Commissioner of Police Andy Tsang Wai-hung confirmed emergency services went to Government House. Without revealing the caller's identity, Tsang said police contacted the person who requested help but did not notice any injuries and withdrew when "the person who made the call declined further assistance".

Home affairs minister Tsang Tak-sing later added: "If someone is sick, we should show sympathy." But he denied he was commenting on any particular family.

The episode is the latest in a string of incidents involving the elder of Leung's two daughters, including social media spats with critics of her father. She last month agreed to star in a romantic comedy, but failed to show up for filming.

Additional reporting by Lai Ying-kit and Vivienne Chow