Jasper Tsang Yok-sing has criticised the government source who circulated rumours that two former officials were replaced because of their poor performance as an “idiot who could not be any dumber.”
On a radio show on Sunday, Tsang condemned the source’s action as “an obvious effort to propagate rumours and smear [the two departed officials]”.
“It is idiotic to think that by circulating rumours that the two officials were sacked due to their poor performance, it would stem speculation that officials are ditching the government or that [the chief executive] is being deserted by his followers.”
Tsang said that suggesting the performance of officials was to blame could cause “a lot of poor political consequences.” He asked: “Out of the dozen heads of bureaux, were the two who departed the worst? And if there are others worse than these two, would they need to be sacked as well?”
On Tuesday, the chief executive announced the departure of two high ranking officials, whose absence at the related press conference was deemed unusual by critics. Their refusal to clarify the reason for their departure fueled public suspicion.
Following the announcement of the changes, pro-government online media Speak Out HK cited government sources saying that the reason why the officials were replaced was their poor performance. The post was later edited.
After the radio show, Tsang said that he would not speculate on whether the government source was Andrew Fung Wai-kwong, the information officer for the chief executive. He told the press that the reasons cited for the departure of the two officials, such as that the former head of home affairs Tsang Tak-sing should be responsible for the Occupy protests due to poor youth outreach, “are an absolute joke”. He added that “stupid people will do stupid things … if they do not do it now they will do it in the future.”
In a Facebook post after the show, Tsang wrote similar comments aimed at a person he described as “a pig-like teammate”.
Jasper Tsang has criticised the leadership of the chief executive on numerous occasions over the past few days. Most notably Tsang said that if he were ten years younger he would run for chief executive.
Jasper Tsang is the elder brother of Tsang Tak-sing. A prominent commentator has said that Tsang Tak-sing’s forced retirement is sign of conflict between the “old generation of patriots” represented by the Tsang brothers and the “new generation of patriots” led by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.
Fung responded to Apple Daily saying that he “did not have much to say” and that Tsang “may not be talking about him.”
Former Democratic Party member, Fung compared himself to a “White House press secretary” prior to his appointment to the post of information officer in 2013. He was alleged to have provided photos and videos of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying receiving petitions from pro-Beijing legislator Kwok Wai-keung of the Federation of Trade Union to the pro-government online media Speak Out HK.
Fung was said to have used a pen name to write commentaries chiding individuals who criticised the government during his time in office, but he has not responded to these allegations. He has continued to pen articles under his own name criticising legislators, pro-democracy activists and independent political commentators such as the founder of Hong Kong Economic Journal Lam Hang-chi and Chinese University lecturer Ivan Choi Chi-keung.
It was also reported that Fung engaged in a Facebook comment war in office hours with an experienced i-Cable News journalist, among others, over his criticism of Ivan Choi.