Political Animal

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 July, 2007, 12:00am

Stephen Lam fires back at democrats


The political heat has taken its toll on Stephen Lam Sui-lung, the normally cool-headed secretary for constitutional and mainland affairs, who is in charge of the green paper consultation on constitutional reform. Mr Lam seemed in a cheery mood when he first showed up to face legislators yesterday. But he was in a fighting mood after three hours of harsh words from democrats.


In his most dramatic gesture, he jabbed his finger vehemently at 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung - who has dismissed the green paper as a fake consultation - and accused him of failing to understand the Basic Law. Turning to unionist Lee Cheuk-yan, he blamed the democrats, not the government, for 'complicating simple things'.


Enter Ronny Tong Ka-wah of the Civic Party, who grilled the minister on how the government would draft a final model based on public opinion. Mr Lam responded sharply: 'As a senior counsel you should know well what is written in the Basic Law - and that is, no matter what the model, you still need two-thirds support [of Legco] otherwise it cannot be submitted'.


Donald Tsang: reader, writer, fair promoter


He was a star storyteller at a session for children at last year's Book Fair. This year, however, Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen is one of the featured authors at the annual festival, which starts this week. As such he has seen fit to expound on the joys of reading and to urge the readers of his blog to attend the fair. 'I read a wide range of books,' says Mr Tsang, who has just published a volume of memoirs. 'It depends on my mood and needs. This year, I learned more about the difficulty of being a writer. I became one of them.'


He said the collection of blog letters written during the chief executive's election was 'not about grand ideas, but my thoughts and feelings during the campaign period that I'd like to share with you'. He added: 'The annual book fair is approaching. I will certainly be there. How about you?'


Leong-Tsang rivalry alive and well on website


The election may be long over, but the rivalry between Mr Tsang and pan-democrat candidate Alan Leong Kah-kit lingers on. Last week, Mr Leong launched a new website, www.alanleong.com, to connect with his constituents and society at large. Featuring a boyish-looking cartoon of Mr Leong in the name of Kit Gor (Brother Kit), it pledges 'working for change with courage and commitment'.


As though the campaign were still under way, Mr Leong fired a salvo against Mr Tsang for breaching his promise of coming up with three sets of concrete proposals on universal suffrage. 'Isn't he short-selling the trust of Hong Kong people?' he said.


RTHK staff focus on future


A week after broadcasting chief Chu Pui-hing departed under a cloud, staff unionists at the Save RTHK campaign forum understandably want to turn the media spotlight back on the government broadcaster's future before it is too late. 'We hope people will not wait until the bulldozer is outside RTHK,' union representative Gary Pollard said, in a reference to the fate of the Star Ferry pier.


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