Arthur Li refuses to enter the party spirit
There is always an end to a party, but not everyone leaves in a festive mood. At yesterday's Legco meeting - the last for outgoing ministers - education chief Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, who has just survived a gruelling hearing into alleged interference in academic freedom, appeared to be in a foul mood when he repeatedly stressed intervention was not his practice. But Sarah Liao Sau-tung, the environmental minister, with her hair carefully set and wearing her best cream-coloured jacket, declared: 'I have achieved everything I wanted in the past five years.' Impressed, fellow cabinet member Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee said: 'She looks very pretty today.' Fifteen administrative assistants have been picked to support the 15 principal officials. Freely Cheng, of the food and health bureau, will be financial secretary-designate John Tsang Chun-wah's aide, and Henry Tang Ying-yen, chief secretary-designate, will keep Vivian Sum as his assistant. Home affairs bureau incumbent Kelvin Yeung will work with new boss Tsang Tak-sing, while Jessie Wong, of the Financial Services and Treasury Bureau, will serve the new financial services chief, Chan Ka-keung.
No, I'm not joining Civic Party, says David Tang
Shanghai Tang boss David Tang Wing-cheung is known for his liberal and westernised views, but observers were still surprised by a headline in the final issue of the A45 newspaper: 'Why I am joining the Civic Party.' 'Really, he's joining the Civic Party? I didn't know that,' said party member Alan Leong Kah-kit. A party source said neither application nor membership fee had been received. Speaking from Beijing, Mr Tang denied having joined. 'I didn't write the headline, and it should really read, 'Why I support the Civic Party'.' He supported it because 'a good opposition party is vital to a healthy civil society,' and had donated modest sums. However, he said he would not join until it stopped expecting members to be heavily involved with party affairs and banned dual-party memberships.
Betty Tung sheds a tear for Wishing Tree
Well-known for her efforts in encouraging tree-planting exercises, Betty Tung Chiu Hung-ping, wife of former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa, recently told friends how heartbroken she was over the imminent demise of the Wishing Tree in Lam Tsuen, as a result of too many offerings thrown over its branches. 'I cried many times. I have considered driving there at night, chopping off a branch and bringing it to Kadoorie Farm for transplanting so that at least it can continue to grow after the original dies.' New ideas she was considering for a greener Hong Kong include urging newly-wed couples to plant a tree with their names on it.
Election battle continues in bookstores
The rematch is on. Donald Tsang Yam-kuen beat Alan Leong in the chief executive election, but it is still too early to determine whether he will beat his rival again in the sales of their respective memoirs. Mr Tsang's book, I'll Get the Job Done, published by Citigate Dewe Rogerson, went on sale yesterday. It had been bought by only five customers so far - two of them journalists - in Dymock's Prince's Building shop when Political Animal paid a visit at 5.50pm. Mr Leong's two books, Behind the Pocketchief and The Right to Choose, published by SCMP Books, go on sale today.