Tang admits to marital indiscretions

Updated: 2011-10-05 07:29

By Joseph Li (HK Edition)

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 Tang admits to marital indiscretions

Henry Tang and his wife Lisa speak to the media at their residence on the Peak on Tuesday, after issuing a statement on Tang's extramarital affairs. Provided to China Daily

Former chief secretary for administration Henry Tang has admitted to having extramarital romances for the first time but he said those affairs are behind him and he has the forgiveness of his wife.

Tang's wife Lisa said the couple have discussed the matter and decided to leave it aside, saying let bygones be bygones.

Tang's former administrative assistant Shirley Yuen, reportedly the "leading lady" of Tang's extramarital affairs, denied any affairs with Tang as she left the office on Tuesday. She said her appointment as chief executive officer of Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce had nothing to do with Tang.

Yuen was Tang's assistant for four years while he was secretary for commerce and technology and financial secretary. She left the government in late 2010 and took up the top post with the chamber in August.

Tang and his wife met with reporters from the electronic and print media outside his official residence, where he remains until end of this month, after his resignation to contemplate running for the Chief Executive next year.

The couple met the media, after issuing a statement more than an hour earlier, in which Tang admitted to making errors and declaring his remorse.

"We issued a statement this afternoon and we have nothing to add on the matter between the two of us," Tang told the press. "We will not respond in future to what happened and we call for your understanding."

His wife Lisa said: "I have put down the past events. My family members and I are very supportive of Henry."

They did not answer any questions after the brief oral declarations.

There were mixed reactions from lawmakers and academics but Tang's supporters came to his defense, saying the disclosures would not affect his potential campaign.

Democratic Party lawmaker Cheung Man-kwong said since Tang had admitted his mistake and his wife had forgiven him, people should treat him leniently.

Liberal Party Chairman Miriam Lau said humans err but honesty is the most important thing, calling for a new chance for Tang.

Former official Joseph Wong, who worked with Tang, said provided no females speak out against him, Tang had handled the matter by admitting his mistake.

Financial services lawmaker Chim Pui-chung, who earlier disclosed Tang had past extramarital affairs, said people should leave the matter alone.

"We are now choosing a chief executive, not a saint," he added.

joseph@chinadailyhk.com

China Daily

(HK Edition 10/05/2011 page1)