Friday, August 15, 2003

The story of the late Chinese opera master San Ma Si Tsang [Tang Wing Cheung]'s inheritance has taken another twist as the Wing Cheung Building was sold on the 24th of last month to Tung Wah Hospitals for the sum of HK$95.4 million, his widow Cheung So felt a great shame and regret over this. Yesterday, Tang's son Johnny Tang was filming as usual for "Virtues of Harmony" at a barbecue scene at Pak Sa Chau and after the team had finished their work, and he noticed a big group of journalists waiting for him, he appeared very co-operative and told of the real reason for the sale of the building.

Johnny told that the decision to sell his late father's property was made together with his brother and sisters and all along he has always been very careful with his affairs, making decisions that are fast, precise, sharp and never leaving loose ends. When asked whether the sale was down to financial difficulties, he denied this and asked in return: "Who sold 10% of it in the first place? (Cheung So had donated her 10% share to Tung Wah for charitable causes.) Tung Wah would not sell it back to me, so I sold it to them! I don't like being led by other people, that way you lose out on interest."

Johnny used the example of breast cancer and a leaking bottle to illustrate his case, saying: "Just like if you had breast cancer, would you keep it and not have it removed? If there were lots of holes in a bottle, would you use your fingers to cover them all? You would change for a couple of new ones to solve the problem." He emphasises that the sale of the building is not related to his financial situation and if he is accused of wasting his father's wealth as a result, then... he replies calmly: "Let them make that mistake." He also says that he is not desperate for money at the moment, he has been using his car for the past 12 years. Does he breathe a sigh of relief now? He returns the question saying why should he breathe a sigh of relief, Wing Cheung Building was a simple matter to him, if he sells it now, he can build two more in the future.

When mentioned that Cheung So was regretful, Johnny says: "She can say what she wants, but I am not going to say anything because I don't like making news, if she is so regretful, then where is all the money? Who has taken all the money? Someone has taken US$100 million, leaving me short for seven years and having to sell all my property. Some things are beyond our control, with these wrongs being committed knowingly. As far as my knowledge takes me, this is the best decision."

Will he be selling the land in Sai Kung or Cho Lau Heung [restaurant]? Johnny becomes a little impatient as he replied: "You are clearing everything with me, maybe I have ten wives who are after my wealth, or maybe I have fallen out with my sister and she wants to take her share to give to her son?" So are you splitting the inheritance? He says: "Splitting what inheritance? Why do we need to split inheritance? If you want me to explain why I sold Wing Cheung Building, I will say that I am good friends with Tung Wah's former president and I wanted to sell it to him."


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