Exco makes light of first peek inside the starry chamber

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 July, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 July, 1996, 12:00am

Journalists ventured into the Executive Council's hallowed chamber for the first time yesterday.

The room where the territory's key decisions are made was open to the media as the council prepared for its last summer recess.

And Exco members - Governor Chris Patten's Cabinet - were in light-hearted moods. Vincent Cheng Hoi-chuen described himself as a 'right-winger' since he sits on Mr Patten's right.

Those on the other side were the 'leftists', he said.

Professor Edward Chen Kwan-yiu said the space in the middle of the circular table was for him to throw away the Exco papers he did not like.

Andrew Li Kwok-nang said the space could also be used as a boxing ring.

Members' names are engraved on a metal plate where they sit. Professor Chen said the former Secretary for the Civil Service, Michael Sze Cho-cheung, was the first to take his nameplate with him when he left Exco.

Tung Chee-hwa, tipped as a frontrunner for the post of chief executive after 1997, also kept his nameplate as a souvenir when he left in June.