....... Divertimento: At issue are truth and integrity

Friday, 17 February 2012

At issue are truth and integrity

Did any of you watch Henry Tang Ying-Yen, the Chief Executive hopeful on television last night? For some time, Henry Tang has been embroiled in a controversy with allegations raised in the press about an “illegal structure” at No 7 York Road Kowloon Tong, a property which he co-owned with his wife until 2010. (In 2010, he transferred his share of the company that owns the property to his wife thus making her the sole owner.) The “illegal structure”, which he had dismissed as a small storage area, turned out to be a large basement of approximately 11 meters by 19 meters installed over an extended period of several years. Two glass panels at the bottom of a swimming pool provide illumination to the basement. This was verified by government officials from the Buildings Department late yesterday. Henry Tang and Mrs Tang (Lisa Kuo) met the press after the inspection to make a statement and answer questions.

I was absolutely amazed at his gumption. His statement had two key points – it was his wife’s doing and that even though he was aware that the renovations were illegal he did not handle the matter swiftly as it occurred during a low ebb in their marriage in 2007. Okay, swiftly? This is 2012, a good 4 to 5 years since! This coming from someone who said (roughly translated from Chinese) that “a man has to have broad shoulders and a strong spine”? In response to a direct question by a reporter “Did you lie?” he said he was confused and torn between his desire to tell the whole truth and protecting his wife. So………faced with two difficult choices he chose to not tell the truth and then when the chips are down, ” throw his wife under the bus” anyway. Go figure! You would have thought that Henry Tang had a few months or at least a few weeks to prepare for this final showdown and I am so disappointed that last night’s performance was the best that he could do. In life, one has to prepare for the worse and hope for the best. Surely in this case, he hoped for the best and did not prepare for the worse.

Mrs Tang on the other hand has shown unwavering loyalty to her husband despite his infidelity and again in this incident, courage and integrity to own up to the truth and shoulder full responsibility for the illegal structure and sincerity in her remorse and let’s not forget her single minded dedication to her noble (if misplaced) purpose of providing the best for her family’s comfort.

Let’s vote Mrs Tang for Chief Executive instead!

For a report in the South China Morning Post click here.

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