9th January 2022 – (Hong Kong) Witman Hung, Deputy to National People’s Congress and Principal Liaison Officer for Hong Kong · Shenzhen Qianhai Authority held a lavish 53rd birthday party for more than 180 people including top government officials such as police chief Raymond Siu, Director of Immigration Au Ka-wang and Secretary for Home Affairs Caspar Tsui. The incident has caused embarrassment to the government during this critical epidemic period and resulted in more than 80 attendees being sent to Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre. Witman Hung is known to enjoy holding big parties among his close circle of friends.
In addition, the birthday party has caused a social uproar because the attendees included many dignitaries, top government officials, members of the Legislative Council, heads of the disciplined services, and even the Commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption. This leaves us to wonder why everyone had to risk violating anti-epidemic regulations to attend this seemingly important birthday party.
In fact, Witman Hung, a representative of the Hong Kong People’s Congress and the chief liaison officer for Hong Kong affairs of the Qianhai Administration, has been in the political circle for many years and has an extensive network of contacts. Many Legislative Councillors and newcomers, believed that attending the party to greet Hung who is also an electoral committee member was a courtesy call. A senior pro-establishment faction described that after the implementation of national security law in Hong Kong and the improvement of the electoral system, the governing power in Hong Kong has shifted back to Beijing. Hung has close ties with the mainland and is to a certain extent one of the main representatives. Many politicians and top government officials had to give face to attend the party.
Hung, who holds multiple positions, is an ex-officio member of the Election Committee. He participated in the election of 40 members of the Election Committee in last month’s Legislative Council election. Of the 20 members attending Hung’s birthday party, 17 were members of the election committee, and even two senior officials of HKUST who lost the election showed up. Some members of the pro-establishment camp pointed out that many members of the election committee attended Hung’s birthday party. In addition to congratulating him on his birthday, many also hoped to take the opportunity to thank Hung and build a good relationship.
However, the political aftermath caused by the birthday party is still ongoing. A source close to the government revealed that the Chief Executive Carrie Lam was “stunned” after learning of the incident, because the incident directly damaged the good governance of the Chief Executive and also affected the government’s epidemic prevention work. Carrie Lam is also worried that the incident will affect her re-election as Chief Executive. As she once said, as the head of the SAR, she is responsible for everything. On the other hand, Tam Yiu-chung, member of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress said that Witman Hung does not need resign after the incident. Meanwhile, it is still unknown if the Secretary for Home Affairs, Caspar Tsui will be forced to resign to bear the brunt as he was the only top government official who sat through the dinner at the party.