Aug 17, 2006|
I grew up in the heart of Central on Wyndham Street. My father used to run the King’s Theater cinema at the site of today’s Entertainment Building. He built it in 1931.
Central was very colorful because it was full of rickshaws. My impression was that it was bustling, with lots of activity and beautiful women in cheongsams going to tea in what is now the Landmark.
Hong Kong was kind of small in those days. In our school, we’d go to Sha Tin for our picnics. We would take the train. The impression was that it was in the wilderness.
In those days the cars would drive 25 miles an hour. It would take half an hour to get to Repulse Bay.
When I was in primary school, I didn’t have any clothes. I think I was very poorly dressed.
A lot of stars came through Hong Kong, so I actually got to see Marlon Brando and Jimmy Stewart. I was lucky.
Most of my summer holiday would be spent in the preview room watching four or five films a day with my dad. It was a great education for me.
The creative business was very new at the time and I wanted to be in it. I heard TVB was opening, so I thought I would give it a try.
When I joined, I was a production assistant and worked with a producer and we were a team of two. We had to produce, direct, everything. One time I was working on nine different programs.
Anything you can name, I’ve done. I don’t think any producer in Hong Kong can say that.
It was a very different world. In those days there was just TVB and nothing else. I was put in charge of programming and I became the head of the entire production department. I was in charge of all broadcasting, including news.
In 1981, MacLehose [the governor at the time] appointed me to Legco; that was the start of my political career.
It was right in the middle of the handover agreement. I witnessed history because I was there in the room when Thatcher signed the agreement.
Sometimes in Legco people go on and on in circles and I do get frustrated. It’s just a waste of time.
At certain points you have to agree to disagree.
There's not much time to spend on my hobbies. I like to dance. I like designing. I’m an amateur designer. I enjoy that.
We have been pushing the government a lot on the pollution problem. They know the problem. It's Guangzhou. But we should also do our share. We ought to be looking at vehicle pollution, we ought to be promoting hybrid cars and we ought to be looking at the power companies.
In the last 50 years Hong Kong has put development so much in the forefront that I think we have actually sacrificed a great deal.
If you ask me what we ought to do now, we ought to sit back and take a serious look at what we should preserve. This is the general mood of the community now.
Young people today are asking, “What is our history?” Before the handover, there was never a question.
My grown up kids are questioning what makes us unique and why is it that Hong Kong is not just another Chinese city? What makes us so special?
I probably have two great successes at HKTB. We’ve been able to change the entire culture and function of the Tourism Board from a promotional mechanism to a marketing mechanism.
Something else I've changed is how Hong Kong people look at tourism. People understand now how important it is for Hong Kong.
You want to look at the hope in everything. It’s my only philosophy. It’s what I live for.
I’m a happy person. I’m an optimist.
Comedy is the most painful thing one can engage in because you want to make people laugh. It’s the most difficult thing you could choose to do.