Reassurance for camera-shy legislators

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 June, 2007, 12:00am

Lawmakers were assured yesterday that the Legislative Council premises in the proposed HK$5.2 billion Tamar complex would be more user-friendly, and that state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment putting legislators in the best light in front of cameras was also likely.

Neither government representatives nor specialists from the four consortiums bidding for tender attended yesterday's special consultation meeting.

The assistant secretary-general of the Legislative Council Secretariat, Pauline Ng Man-wah, said she had inserted special requirements in the tender document. One of these was that the distance between the entrances to the legislative chamber and and members' offices should not exceed 140 metres.

Ms Ng said this would ensure that when the division bell rang, all members would be able to return to the chamber within three minutes to cast their vote. Members' offices are now in different buildings outside Legco.

Legco president Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai said that having toured new legislative chambers in Europe she had asked for built-in robotic cameras, manned from a television production room, which would focus on the speakers during debates. Spotlights to illuminate the speaker should also be installed.

Mrs Fan said 'this is not because we think you are vain, but because experience shows ... people's faces actually look less natural on camera unless there is additional light'.