Sexual hi-jinks an academic exercise
Shock and horror in Legco corridors on Wednesday as the press corps pored over a copy of a weekly magazine containing revelations of a sex scandal involving Provisional Regional councillors.
Eager to uncover shameful goings on in the ranks of other political parties, reporters collared several Democrats and demanded to know what they got up to away from the prying eyes of local society.
For the first time, members were positively beaming as they reminded the ratpack of the mainland's refusal to let subversives like themselves defile the soil of the mother country. Lee Wing-tat quipped: 'Fortunately, we didn't have a home-return permit.' Party colleague Fred Li Wah-ming also found the situation hilarious. 'No wonder the municipal councils have to be merged,' he said. 'It is a good opportunity to get rid of people who misbehave.' Council chairman Lau Wong-fat, who led a team of members to Panyu for a soccer match last Saturday, joked that he could not rule out the possibility some had paid for sex.
'Members were depressed because the councils are being axed.' he explained. 'Throughout history, people, particularly literary scholars, have drowned their sorrow with alcohol or by sleeping around.' So they were not just naughty boys getting into mischief away from home. It was their academic leanings that drove them to it.
Rumours persist that Tung Chee-hwa will run for a second term as Chief Executive, although heaven knows why he would want to. Insiders are now asking if Beijing will ask other contenders to throw their hats in the ring, to try to make the selection process marginally more interesting.
It is widely known that NPC delegate Xu Simin persuaded Yang Ti-liang, the former Chief Justice, to put his name forward in the first ballot last time round, but more details have come out recently.
These latest accounts claim that Mr Xu tried to persuade Dr Chung Sze-yuen to stand but Dr Chung turned him down. Mr Xu then turned to Mr Yang. They met at a Chinese restaurant in Central, and when the meal was over, Mr Yang was ready to set aside his British knighthood in pursuit of greater honours.
Mr Yang, quite a scholar of classical literature, was advised to send copies of his translation of the life and times of Yue Fei, a famous historical soldier, to state leaders. Former premier Li Peng praised his work but it was not enough to put Mr Yang in the lead. Honour was satisfied later when Xinhua officials paid him a consolation visit.
An eagle-eyed Corridors spy sniffed the air outside Central Government offices this week and smelt a rat. In the area where mainland migrants have been protesting their right to remain here, a demolition squad was drilling up the paving.
Could it be, he asked an official, that the Government planned to put obstructions in the way of demonstrators? A garden, perhaps, with no room for them to congregate? Not at all, the official replied, sniffily. 'It is a routine scheme to renew the concrete.' As for restricting the right of abode protesters, 'what do you want us to do, erect picnic tables for them?' he asked.
Public servants rarely admit their faults but, surprisingly, the Electoral Affairs Commission rang up the other day to say it had been wrong in counting the number of pre-handover constituencies redrawn for the District Council polls.
Probably overwhelmed by the jigsaw puzzle exercise, the staff, when pressed by the Post for more details, found two constituencies had been left out. But the watchdog had no immediate plans to issue a correction, saying the new figure of 129 would only be announced together with other new information in future.