Henry Tang's Basement-Gate

Henry Tang's Basement-Gate

Updated Mar 18, 2014 at 10:12PM EDT by Brad.

Added Feb 16, 2012 at 09:36AM EST by macariuschan.

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Henry Tang (born September 6, 1952) is a former Hong Kong Chief Secretary for Administration and a 2012 Hong Kong Chief Executive Election candidate. He is often compared to another election candidate, CY Leung.

Online Parody History

Tang has been a target of parodies since he was the Chief Secretary for Administration. However, since he has mentioned that he is going to enter the Chief Executive election, kusos emerged more frequently.

Notable Examples

Left: Parody of the award-winning movie The Simple Life, saying “The Idiot”. Deputy of the NPC of Hong Kong, Rita Fan said if Tang enters the election, then she will not.
Right: Tang visited the guetto and laid on a bunk bed. The way he laid down was mocked.


Tang’s famous and surprising quotes are always mocked, and used by the netizens as a kind of mockery itself.

November 9, 2006, at the opening ceremony of the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car.

Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon, give me great pleasure to join you all at today’s opening ceremony of Ngong Ping Saam Luk Ling……the opening of Ngong Ping Saam Luk Ling…Three-sixty. (Saam Luk Ling is the pronunciation of 360 in Cantonese)

June 2008, when Hampton Hotel was closed down:

The mob’s (referring to a group of tourists) “條條揈”(a kind-of coarse expression meaning unsettled) on the streets now.
Lawmaker: Is that your proposal meant to strengthen the social problems, such as poverty, that we are having nowadays?
Tang: The answer is simple. YES.
Lawmaker: I am willing to give another chance to the Chief Secretary as I think he did not listen to the question clearly.
Tang: I meant that the proposal can strengthen the electoral system and make it more democratic
There is no monopoly of property tycoons in Hong Kong. It is just a part of the market….Every young person who complained about the success of Li Ka-shing should ask the soul-searching question: “Why can’t I become the next Sas? Why can’t I become the next Milan Station? Why can’t I become the next Li Ka-shing?”(Li’s the richest man in Hong Kong)

August 19, 2011, responding to the controversy about the security arrangement during the vice-premier’s visit[1]:

I think that is completely rubbish that we have violated civil rights, nor have we violated freedom of speech, because every single activity of the Vice-Premier has been covered by the media.
The core of the core value of Hong Kong is to protect the core value.

Tang’s response

In December 2011, Tang talked with a group of netizens. Regarding to the kusos of him, he said that he will respect the opinions of the netizens and will do his best to protect the freedom of creation on the internet. He also joked that “it’s enough to be dead once”.

Reuse of HKFYG Photo

On February 16, 2012, the netizens discovered that the photo used for Tang’s election campaign was actually the same photo being used in a Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups(HKFYG) leaflet in 2008.

After the discovery was exposed on the internet, netizens quickly started to mock Tang, mainly joked that he “supported recycling” and “it’s an environmental friendly election campaign”. HKFYG responded to the inquiry about the photograph, saying that “the photograph is a stock photo. Anyone who pays can have the right to use the photograph.” On the other hand, Tang did not respond to the discovery.

Unauthorized Building

On February 13, 2012, the press suspected that there were unauthorized building in his property at 5A and 7 York Road, Kowloon Tong. Henry Tang responded to the suspicion by saying that “a hole was dug behind the garage”. On February 15, Sharp Daily posted the floor plans of the property in its evening issue, revealing more of the property. On February 16, 2012, the Building Department inspected the house. Media and protesters gathered outside the property.

At around 8:20pm, Henry Tang held a press conference and issued a statement, saying that the unauthorized building was planned by his wife. He is not planning to withdraw from the election and hoped that the public can give him a chance. At around 9:30pm, the inspectors from the Building Department held a press conference, confirming that there was an “illegal basement” of 2,400 sq. ft. under the house.


On February 16, 2012 at night, parody images quickly emerged on the Internet and entered circulation in the Hong Kong Internet community. A facebook page called “唐生大地震”(The Tang Earthquake)[2] was created and it gained over 10 thousand likes in less than 24 hours. The term 唐生大地震 had also been a hit search word on Yahoo! HK. The netizens mocked at both Tang and the numerous notches in front of Tang’s house set up by the media. One of the notable ones is the comic done by Facebook user Cuson Lo[3]. Most of the other mockeries came in the form of parody movie posters. Since February 22, 2012, the number of the photoshopped pictures of Tang has exceeded 500.

Official entry to the election

On February 20, 2012, Tang submitted the entry form with 379 nominations to the Registration and Electoral Office. The nominations are mostly from the business sector, including the 4 richest property tycoons in Hong Kong. The netizens called the list of nominations “the list of deaths in the Tang Earthquake”. On the next day, the office confirmed that there were 378 nominations as one of the nominator’s name was misspelled.

External References

[1]Wikipedia – Hong Kong 818 incident

[2]Facebook page – 唐生大地震

[3]Facebook user – Cuson Lo

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