Today’s little amusement: columnist Simon Lee is suing lawmaker Regina Ip for defamation. This follows her claim that he conveyed a threat that Link Reit might ‘harass’ her party (presumably by evicting it from space at the landlord’s properties).
The story is now lost in the mists of time – but essentially Ip echoed commonly heard complaints about the Link’s property management practices, and Lee replied in some way. The latest development suggests that the strident lawmaker might have been careless with words when she accused Lee/Link of making a threat.
Those of us still suffering from tinnitus from Emily Lau’s performances in the Legislative Council many years ago will know that Regina would hardly be the first public figure in Hong Kong to exaggerate for effect. If she shoots from the hip in your direction, the calm and cool response would be to ignore her, or at most treat her allegation with mild (but of course strictly gender-neutral/non-ageist/etc) condescension.
Making a big issue over who said what looks petty and oversensitive. Taking legal action is possibly unwise because – to some shallow and cynical scumbags out there, unbelievable though it may seem – it raises the suspicion that you are in fact guilty and fooling no-one by overreacting.
Worst of all, however, is the risk to one’s own reputation: you could become The Man Who Took Regina Ip Seriously. I shudder at the very thought.