Last month, the Financial Secretary of Hong Kong, Anthony
Leung, lost his job because of his purchase of a Lexus LS430.
was once the favourite political star in the Hong Kong government,
thanks to his young and intelligent image and his sudden marriage with
a famous 2-time Olympic gold medallist of diving, Ms. Fu Ming Xia. Mr.
Leung was even tipped as one of the hottest candidates for the next
Chief Executive, until he was hit by the Lexus incident.
this year, the financial secretary and his wife gave birth to a little
baby. He found there was a need to buy a car suitable for taking his
wife and baby. Being an ex-banker, money is no problem. His own daily
transport is a Porsche 996 Carrera, which is of course unsuitable for
this task. His other car is a Lexus LX470 luxurious off-roader, which
he considered has a floor too high for his wife and baby to get abroad
and off. Therefore he decided to buy a proper luxurious sedan.
tested a Mercedes-Benz E320 but could not have the desired color
without waiting for next shipment, he went to the Lexus showroom and
ended up with a LS430. Job done. A new father with a beautiful wife and
a baby, a 911, a Lexus and a luxury SUV, a fortune enough for the rest
of his life, a bright future for his political career. Everything
seemed perfect.... until March.
the financial secretary announced a new financial plan for the new
financial year, which focused on reducing government spending and
increasing income to counter the red figures. Among all increase of
taxation, the most spectacular is the registration tax for cars.
Expensive cars like Mercedes S-class would be taxed for up to 150% of
the net price. For example, a Ferrari 360 Modena used to be sold at
HK$2 million or US$260,000 (which was already expensive due to the
already high taxation). According to the new taxation it will be priced
closer to HK$3 million or US$400,000.
taxation was scheduled to be effective in April. A powerful local
newspaper discovered that Mr. Leung registered a new Lexus LS430 just
one month ago. That means, he saved around US$20,000. In theory, Mr.
Leung should have already planned for the increase of taxation when he
bought the car.
denied the speculation that he use his position to earn for his own
good and explained that he was just too busy for his new baby and
forgot to be careful for this sensitive issue. However, his honesty was
in doubt by the public, especially after some meeting records were
leaked from his political enemy inside the government which proved that
someone else already reminded him to report for any conflict of
In the July
1st big protest, half a million of Hong Kong people roared against the
Tung Chee Hwa government for his series of misadministration and how he
pushed the legislation of the National Security Law. Many people also
accused Anthony Leung’s refusal to resign.
On July 16,
Mr. Leung finally resigned to save the government and the Chief
Executive (at least for now). On the same day, the government official
responsible for promoting the National Security Law, the Secretary for
Security, Mrs Regina Ip, also resigned. The people won.
Mrs. Ip’s daily transport is also a 996 Carrera. Maybe next time those
who hate Mr. Tung can consider to give him a 996 Carrera as a present,
the sooner the better.