Thursday, October 2, 2014   




Dream Bear's suicide attack

Mary Ma

Friday, January 25, 2013

"Dream Bear" Lew Mon-hung was always on the front lines canvassing support for Leung Chun-ying during the chief executive election.

Now, he's throwing open a Pandora's box full of explosive charges against the very person he whole-heartedly endorsed a year ago.

Lew - who earned his nickname because the second and third characters of his Chinese name mean "dream" and "bear" - is active in political circles in the SAR and Beijing.

His about-face is intriguing. It could be personal. Proclaiming himself the kingmaker, he said Leung had promised him a seat on the Executive Council, but never delivered.

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He further alleges Leung pledged to recommend him to Beijing for a seat with the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Standing Committee, but reneged on that also.

So, it seems "Dream Bear" is striking back out of a desire for revenge.

However, he insisted it isn't so, and that there's another dimension to consider. He says he's acting in the interests of the public and the "one country, two systems" arrangement, because he's suddenly convinced Leung doesn't possess the leadership qualities he had expected.

Lew even played the Taiwan card - saying what's been happening in Hong Kong under Leung's stewardship would set a bad example for China's eventual reunification across the strait.

That's really a moral high ground of the supreme level, not normally associated with someone who praised a gangster in front of the TV cameras.

There may be the third dimension to the saga. It can't be ruled out that all the tough talk by Lew stems from a desperate bid to protect himself against a criminal investigation.

It was revealed the 64-year-old had been formally arrested by the Independent Commission Against Corruption in connection with the listed energy company, Pearl Oriental Oil, of which he is vice chairman and executive director.

This is more than a personal vendetta - it's like a suicide attack by a bomber with explosives strapped around his waist. Perhaps "Dream Bear" is trying to tell Leung "let's die together."

In the face of Lew's kamikaze mission, Leung's silence isn't golden, but will only worsen the situation.

The longer a reassuring response is put off, the greater the damage to his own integrity.

Public perception about Leung's lukewarm handling of the illegal structure scandal has never been good and, even if Lew's accusations are unfounded, society may still tend to believe them - which would be disastrous to Leung's governance.

CY's campaign chief, Barry Cheung Chun-yuen, did make a response. Admittedly, it wasn't convincing enough.

It would be more reassuring if the professionals Leung said he had hired to clear his Peak home of anything unlawful spoke up now in light of the seriousness of the matter.

I was surprised by Lew's assertion that Cheung had confided to him that "the professionals" don't exist, since it's doubtful Cheung would have shared such a top secret with anyone.

Given Leung's dead silence, Cheung's response could be part of a strategy for the latter to stick his neck out so that a firewall can be established and the heat can be deflected away from Leung.

But will this strategy work?


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