26 October 2016
Monique Ho (left) reportedly told her boss about the romance with Arthur Li (right) some months ago. Photos: LinkedIn, HKEJ
Monique Ho (left) reportedly told her boss about the romance with Arthur Li (right) some months ago. Photos: LinkedIn, HKEJ

Arthur Li is dating someone so much younger but does it matter?

It’s official. Arthur Li and Monique Ho are dating.

That’s according to Ho’s boss, Digital Broadcasting Corp. chief Loh Chan.

And just in case there was a problem with conflict of interest, Loh made the revelation in the spirit of corporate disclosure.

Li has been a major source of news in recent days thanks to a leaked recording of his remarks about Johannes Chan, and Ho works for a media company.

Most news about a blooming romance is something to cheer about, so we hear that Li is happy about it and we understand.

But some netizens are not so forgiving.

They were quick to point out the gaping age difference between the 70-year-old former education minister who could be the next chairman of the University of Hong Kong council and the charming lady executive in her forties.

“Father-daughter” is a trending topic on social media.

Some students turned the tables on Li who once famously described them as “not particularly academically gifted” but love to look like “heroes” to their girlfriends.

“If they [students] can stand out, wave banners and shout slogans, they could look like heroes, couldn’t they? I think there’s a certain attraction in that,” Li said.

Loh got the scoop after Ho told him about the relationship 18 months ago. Six months earlier, Li had lost his wife, Diana Chester, to cancer.

Now that it’s all in the open, the romance is causing some awkward moments for the couple.

They have been seen being chased by the paparazzi in and out of Cyberport where both work.

Not that it’s any of our business but it’s worth mentioning that older men dating younger women isn’t news the way a man biting a dog is.

Successful academics are known to relearn the ABC of romance deep into their seventies or eighties.

And younger women are attracted to older men because they see something in them they don’t often find in many younger men — stability and maturity.

So all is fair on that count but we couldn’t resist giving concrete examples, so here you are.  

Dr. Franklin Yang, a Nobel Prize co-winner in physics, was 82 when he married his wife, then 28.

Yang, pushing 94, describes his wife as a gift from heaven, his “last gift from God”.

Then there’s Lawrence Lau, Arthur Li’s successor as vice chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Lau is married to Ayesha Abbas, a partner in an accounting firm. Lau is 70, Abbas is 50.

Those who have never experienced this kind of relationship or can’t imagine themselves being in one will take some doing to understand people like Arthur Li and Monique Ho.

But does it even matter?

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EJ Insight writer

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