In January 1980 a younger police officer named John MacLennan dedicated suicide in his Ho Man Tin flat. His demise got here mere hours earlier than he was to be arrested for committing gay acts nonetheless, at that time, unlawful in Hong Kong. However this was greater than the determined act of a younger man, ashamed and afraid; each his demise and the next investigation have been a smokescreen for a scandal that went to the center of the institution. MacLennan got here to Hong Kong from Scotland throughout a time of social unrest and corruption scandals, a time when the triads nonetheless took their minimize, and when homosexuality and paedophilia have been thought-about interchangeable and each provided simple targets for blackmail. The governorship of Sir Murray MacLehose was to be a time of reform and progress, however with that remit got here the dedication of many to suppress scandals and silence those that stirred up bother. Each the life and demise of John MacLennan appeared to lots of these in energy to threaten the soundness of considered one of Britain’s final colonies.