Patten's 'charitable' reply gets to the seat of the matter

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 January, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 January, 1997, 12:00am

The Frontier's Elizabeth Wong Chien Chi-lien, who has been calling for Legco President Andrew Wong Wang-fat's resignation, threw the spotlight on seating arrangements at yesterday's session.

Mrs Wong said: 'Governor, are you sitting comfortably, right next to an honourable gentleman who aspires to be the president of the provisional legislature that you considered a moment ago to be illegal?' Mr Patten replied: 'Well, I am a man of legendary charity . . .', as Mr Wong interjected: 'Same here.' Mr Patten said he did not want to make judgments about individuals, but everybody had to justify their actions, particularly to those who elected them.

Mr Patten described the provisional legislature as the 'provisional so-called legislature' which was a 'rather exotic debating society' meeting on occasional Saturday mornings in Shenzhen.

He said if it sought to legislate before the handover it would be challenged in Hong Kong courts as 'every lawyer in town will tell you'.