Why So Serious? CY Leung Denies ‘No Re-election’ Report

January 6, 2015 Updated: January 8, 2015

Hong Kong’s top leader Leung Chun-ying officially denounced an article that asserts he won’t stand for re-election in 2017.

In a statement Tuesday, incumbent Chief Executive Leung says that a Next Magazine and NextPlus report which alleges that he “expressed to the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region his intention for not running for a re-election after his five-year term of office” is “totally untrue” and “totally fabricated.”

Taken at face value, that means Leung, who is hugely unpopular, is suggesting that there’s a possibility that he will be running for a second term.

On perusing the Next Magazine article, however, it seems strange that Leung sees fit to publicly deny the allegation.

The article appears to be written either as satire or parody rather than a serious news piece.

Except for one instance, Leung is referred to as “Wolf Elite,” a word play on the Chinese characters of his name, or “689,” a nickname that mocks the embattled leader’s paltry total tally out of 1,200 possible votes when he took office in 2012.

The anonymous author also uses plenty of bombastic expressions (“During the ‘Wolf Elite’ administration’s 914 days rule of Hong Kong, Hongkongers endure each day like a year”) and makes other wild, unsubstantiated claims (“Central Government fears Leung’s votes in 2017 will drop from 689 to 609” and “2nd Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Norman Chan has recently become the favored CE candidate”).

If the Next Magazine article is indeed a joke piece, then Leung’s formal slip of the tongue could return to haunt him.

That, or Leung and the Hong Kong government do have a sense of humor after all.