Macleod's licence to make 'easy' money
MR Hamish Macleod, who as Financial Secretary spends his days surrounded by numbers, is relinquishing what could prove to be the most valuable number he has ever seen.
Mr Macleod is putting his official No 2 car registration plate on the charity auction block, prompting speculation that it could fetch a record price.
A government spokesman termed the offer a Lunar New Year gesture and denied that it was an attempt by Mr Macleod to soften up sentiments before he submits the territory's annual Budget to public scrutiny.
The number plate will be sold at an auction of lucky licence numbers at the Convention and Exhibition Centre on February 27, just four days before he releases the Budget.
The proceeds will, as usual, go to the Lotteries Fund.
A Transport Department official predicted the number could fetch more than the previous record - a $5 million bid in 1988 for the No 8 plate.
The No 2 is considered lucky because it sounds the same in Cantonese as the word ''easy''.
''This is most auspicious and I am sure it will bring good luck to its new owner,'' Mr Macleod said.
Mr Macleod also said some of his ''more imaginative'' colleagues had claimed the No 2 looked like a rooster, which represents the current year in the Chinese lunar calendar.
''According to the Chinese horoscope, the rooster is sharp, precise, decisive, alert and astute in handling money,'' Mr Macleod said.
He will sweeten the deal by adding a complete set of new proof coins - $10, $5, $2, $1 and 50, 20 and 10 cents.
The seven coins total $18.80 - adding up ''to be a very lucky package indeed''.
In future, the Financial Secretary's car will bear an ''FS'' - like ''CS'' for the Chief Secretary.
It is believed the No 1 plate of the Commissioner of Police may also be auctioned and replaced with ''CP''.