Big guns find it hard to leave their mark

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 November, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 November, 1999, 12:00am

While Tung Chee-hwa might have been fulsome in his praise of the voter stamp, it presented a few problems for political heavyweights Martin Lee Chu-ming and Allen Lee Peng-fei.

An early arrival to vote in the Peak constituency, the Democratic Party chairman complained about the chop.

'I thought modern technology had reached such an advanced level that the ink that I stamped on the ballot paper was invisible,' Mr Lee said. It was not until he took a closer look that he realised that the cap was still on the stamp. The instructions never said remove the cap before voting, Mr Lee complained.

He challenged claims by the Electoral Affairs Commission chairman Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing about the convenience of the chop. Mr Woo has likened the use of the stamp to the ones used in restaurants to record the number of dim sums being ordered.

But Mr Lee said: 'Mr Justice Woo forgot that it's not the diners who stamp their marks when they order dim sum. It's the dim sum ladies who do so.' Allen Lee, former chairman of the Liberal Party, said it took him some time to stamp the tick in a perfect form on his ballot. 'What about if I stamped the tick upside down? Would it still be a valid vote?' he asked.

* * * An enthusiastic 85-year-old Ms Cao knew how to use the chop . . . and make her choice. Admitting she couldn't read, she said: 'I only chop next to the number. I can remember the candidate's number. I chose him because he looks nice and friendly.' * * * Renowned columnist and candidate Ronald Fung said chairman Mao Zedong and military strategist Sun Tsu were his secret advisers.

Campaigning against two rivals - one of whom is Selina Chow of the Liberal Party - he said the Thoughts of Chairman Mao and The Art of War were his key references. 'Chairman Mao said 'consistency is success'. I have consistently run my election campaign here every morning for 18 days.

'I learned from The Art of War how to understand myself and my rivals.' The art of politics, he noted, was double-talk.