Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Happy Families Hong Kong Style

Videos blaring from my secretary’s PC this lunchtime alert me (and everyone else within earshot) to the latest Hong Kong mini-scandal, which concerns someone I had not heard of since he stepped down as the president of Lingnan University many moons ago.

More than 20 years, while he was still a humble academic at Hong Kong University, Oxford-educated economist Edward Chen Kwan Yiu was the darling of successive governors: David Wilson, who appointed him to LegCo, and Chris Patten, who bumped him up to ExCo for the full duration of his term of office.

More pertinently for the newshounds at Oriental Daily News who trailed him and his former Personal Assistant Rachelle Suen for days after being tipped off about the existence of possible pre-teenage progeny for the man whose own marriage to an eminent linguist at Hong Kong University was childless, Chen was for some years chairman of the Hong Kong Consumer Council.

Having been involved in a number of run-ins with the hacks on that eminent rag during his incumbency at the consumer watchdog, Chen will have been in the paparazzi’s viewfinders for some time. The quiet period before the Lunar New Year – and the continuing difficulty in finding anything interesting to say about CY Leung’s policy speech – finally triggered the telling of a fable that is disturbingly familiar.

Cut to images of Chen holding hands with his wife Rosie, via shots of Chen obligingly winding down the window of his wife’s car to confirm that yes, the child is his, to Rosie leaning across from the driving position to gush that she’s known about the affair for years. But, there’s more. She fully understands her hubbie’s desire to have a child and heir. Not only that, but she looks forward to doing her bit financially to see that the child gets a flying start in life.

You get the impression that if a basement were to be discovered under the presidential mansion at Lingnan, Rosie would drive to the ODN offices in Kowloon Bay with wellies and spade to tell them she dug it herself.

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