28 October 2016
If Chim Pui-chung (R) jumps into the 2016 LegCo race, he could bring some excitement to Hong Kong's political scene like Donald Trump (L) is doing with his White House bid in the US. Photos: Reuters, HKEJ
If Chim Pui-chung (R) jumps into the 2016 LegCo race, he could bring some excitement to Hong Kong's political scene like Donald Trump (L) is doing with his White House bid in the US. Photos: Reuters, HKEJ

Will Chim Pui-chung be our very own Donald Trump?

If we could choose one character to add to our political animal farm, it would be someone along the lines of Donald Trump rather than a Hillary Clinton.

We already have too many politically straight Hillarys in our public affairs. To liven up the scene ahead of the LegCo polls next year and the chief executive election in 2017, we could do with a Trump-like oddball. 

Well, we may just get our wish if the pronouncements of Chim Pui-chung are to be taken seriously.

The colorful Chim, who retired from public life three years ago after an eight-year stint as a lawmaker, now wants to stage a comeback.

The 69-year-old, who has earned the nickname “Chiu Chow Angry Man”, made public his intention to run for a Hong Kong Island seat in the 2016 Legislative Council election.

If Chim does indeed jump into the fray, it will scare off many candidates hoping for a smooth ride in the key part of the city, and may even complicate the strategic planning of political groups.

Chim, after all, is a man who can be expected to hog the spotlight easily due to his sharp rhetoric and comments that sometimes border on the outrageous.

The broker became a legislative councilor from 1991 to 1998 until he was impeached and jailed for a year for conspiring to forge some share transfer documents.

But he came back in 2004, winning hands down from the financial services functional constituency and served in the LegCo until 2012.

During his 15-year career overall as a legislative councilor, Chim served through at least five chief executives or governors in Hong Kong. 

Known for making provocative remarks just like Trump, Chim once proclaimed that “all women are chicken”.

In another chapter in his colorful history, Chim crossed words with legislator Raymond “Mad Dog” Wong Yuk-man in a no-holds-barred conflict that grabbed several newspaper headlines.

Just like Trump, he knows the media game well and has the ability to create an aura around himself. He has often ordered expensive meals (abalone and shark fin) for reporters after boasting that he had won millions in casino bets.

Chim once claimed that he won HK$200 million from Baccarat games over a period of ten months in 2002.

More recently, he claimed that he won HK$5 million from a Macau casino and that he carried a bagful of cash to Hong Kong. He said that he donated HK$1.7 million as a bonus for the Hong Kong national football team for its spectacular performance.

His generosity has helped him gain the support of some groups.

On Tuesday, Chim bragged that he has many strengths that will earn him the backing of different groups such as Chiu Chow residents (people who hail from Chaozhou, or Chiu Chow, region), stock investors, football fans, ATV supporters (because he once had a talk show with Michael Chugani) and even prisoners – because he fought for their entitlement of a cup of milk tea every day.

Known for his accurate predictions, he estimated that he needs 35,000 votes in order to win the Hong Kong Island election, whose seats were trimmed to five from six.

Chim’s candidacy will mean grim news for people such as Regina Ip Lau Shuk-yee, James Tien Pei-chun and former democrat Andrew Cheng Kar-foo who had fancied that their chances would be easy in the 2016 election.

As of now, Chim’s comments are more a state of intent and a test of the waters, rather than a sure-shot fight.

If he does throw his hat into the ring, it will surely enhance the fun index in the local political scene.

As might be the case with Trump in the US, Chim will grab a lot of attention and headlines even though he might ultimately lose out in the final stretch.

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EJ Insight writer

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