New efforts to seek journalist's release
The family of Ching Cheong will step up efforts to call on Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen to fight for the release of the jailed journalist on medical parole now that Mr Tsang's re-election campaign has ended, said Ching's brother, Ching Hai, who visited him in Guangzhou Prison on Wednesday. Mr Ching said his brother needed a physical checkup every week because of his poor health, which includes heart problems.
He said many people had suggested that his brother could be released this year, as he had already served one-third of his term. Ching, chief China correspondent for Singapore's The Straits Times, was transferred from Beijing to Guangzhou on January 31 to serve out his five-year sentence for spying for Taiwan. Other visitors included Ching's wife Mary Lau Man-yee and his younger sister, Helen Ching.
Poll contender weighs in
A nomination for a by-election in the Kai Yip constituency of Kwun Tong District Council was received by the returning officer. Nominee Sze Lun-hung from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong is an education project officer. The nomination period started yesterday and runs until April 17. Voting will take place on May 20 if there is more than one validly nominated candidate.
Macau spreads its wings
Booming Macau saw its population rise to 513,427 by the end of last year, up 5.81 per cent on the figure at the end of 2005, according to the latest census statistics. The number of imported workers surged by 64 per cent year on year to 64,673. A total of 4,058 babies were born last year, up 10.5 per cent on 2005. New marriages rose by 21.1 per cent to 2,100.
Quicken the pace, Tang told
Lawmakers called on finance chief Henry Tang Ying-yen to speed up infrastructure projects and provide relief for the underprivileged as they continued to consider the budget in a motion debate. A total of 57 legislators have spoken in the debate over the past two days. It has been adjourned to April 18 and the motion is expected to be passed.