Thursday, 27 October 2011

Familiar Face

There's a familiar face in the city these few days, and for some he wistfully brings back memories of the last colonial days of Hong Kong.

Chris Patten or "Fat Pang" is in town in is capacity as the chancellor of Oxford University and promoting a new English learning program developed by Oxford University Press.

The 66-year-old has gained more weight since his last visit three years ago and it wasn't because of egg tarts, though he did have his first one practically as soon as he landed.

On Tuesday he had a private dinner with former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang and he reported the meeting was apolitical.

"We talked about grandchildren. We talked about both the past and the future. And I was reminded again how Anson Chan has been one of the most outstanding public servants," said Patten who is also chairman of the BBC Trust.

He also talked highly of Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, who was financial secretary when Patten was governor. "It is impertinent for me to give a report, but he exemplified the highest standard of public service in Hong Kong."

Patten still believes in "one country, two systems" saying it was more than a slogan; it was "one of the imperatives of good governance" in Hong Kong, which enjoyed rule of law and an independent judiciary.

He hopes the electoral reforms passed last year by the Legislative Council will "speed Hong Kong to full democracy in due process".

While he said he didn't know Henry Tang Ying-yen and Leung Chun-ying well, he had some advice for the chief executive hopefuls. "Understanding the profound honour of serving [the] people of Hong Kong, understanding the reason for the [city's] success are prerequisites for success. Comprehending the full meaning of 'one country, two systems' is important too."

Other than politics, Patten went to a school in Jordan to introduce the English learning program and read The Haunted Castle to children, whom he called "little hamsters".

And apparently his other favourite topic is his grandchildren of which he has eight. "Two of them are mad about dinosaurs, while the girls love princesses," he said. "I prefer the dinosaurs."

While Patten may prefer dinosaurs we hope he and his thoughts on Hong Kong won't go extinct anytime soon.

1 comment:

  1. a very smart , sweet talking , slick politician indeed. good for him.