Please back off and leave Chai-yan alone: Mother's message to media after slaps in Hong Kong street

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 November, 2015, 6:23pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 November, 2015, 8:59am

The wife of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying urged the media today to give their eldest daughter, Leung Chai-yan, more room as the 24-year-old needed rest.

Regina Tong Ching-yee was responding to a weekend drama that saw her photographed being slapped twice in the face on a Central street by her daughter – decked out in ghoulish attire and make-up for Halloween festivities.

Tong was speaking after officiating at an award ceremony for disabled students.

The open altercation occurred as Tong was helping her daughter board a taxi to leave the packed scene early on Sunday, according to a number of videos posted online.

When asked how she felt about the slapping, Tong said she believed her daughter was “tipsy” at the time and had no intention of offending anyone.

She also said there was “pushing” in the crowd amid chaos caused by up to 50 reporters surrounding Chai-yan and her friends.

“What Chai-yan wanted to do was to protect her friends and not let them be pictured by the media,” Tong said. “Chai-yan is a kind-hearted girl. She is keen to protect her friends.

“I believe she had no intention of offending anyone with her behaviour that evening.”

Read more: 'Nightmare at Lan Kwai Fong: Leung Chai-yan slaps her mother twice in Halloween street tantrum

In the videos, Chai-yan was recorded as telling the crowd: “You know this mum is not my actual biological mother.”

Tong did not comment on this statement.

Chai-yan’s friends had called her to the scene to help after they had difficulty leaving, she said.

But chaos set in immediately when she arrived in a car. She said up to 50 reporters surrounded her vehicle, with some even trying to open a door and rush in.

Tong urged the media and internet users to give Chai-yan more space.

“What I want to say is … no matter how unhappy you are about the status quo and the current political system, Chai-yan is innocent. And so are her friends,” she said.

“Please do not disturb her, especially in her private activities. Her emotions … She needs rest.”