In Brief

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 September, 2007, 12:00am

Basics right for suffrage, says constitution boss

The constitutional affairs chief declared yesterday that Hong Kong had the fundamentals in place for universal suffrage. Stephen Lam Sui-lung, secretary for constitutional and mainland affairs, was visiting district councillors in Kowloon City and Central and Western. He said that with an independent judiciary, a respected anti-corruption agency and a free press, Hong Kong already had the 'fundamental components' for universal suffrage. 'But what's missing? It's the ability to reach a consensus between political parties.'

Accountants call for end to legal battles

A group of accountants are pressing their professional body to end a legal battle with legislator Mandy Tam Heung-man, after she won a judicial review over the institute's blocking of communication with her constituents. The campaign is putting pressure on the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants not to appeal against the verdict. The High Court ruled last week that the institute's decision to stop distributing a newsletter by Ms Tam to accountants was unlawful and irrational. The institute was accused of blocking the legislator's contact with constituents because of differing political views.

Author donates 10m yuan

Renowned novelist Louis Cha, also known as Jin Yong, has donated 10 million yuan to support Peking University's Chinese studies. The university will set up the Jin Yong Traditional Chinese Studies Fund dedicated to the teaching, research and publication of material on Chinese culture. Cha is an honorary professor of the university.

HK helps fight illiteracy

Hong Kong is a major contributor to a global fight against childhood illiteracy in developing countries, said John Wood, founder and CEO of a San Francisco-based NGO, Room to Read. Mr Wood said Hong Kong had become the largest fund-raising place for the NGO, contributing 10 per cent of the US$15 million in annual funding for Room to Read, which has opened more than 3,500 bilingual libraries for children since 2000.

Border crossing trial extended

Hong Kong and Guangdong have reached agreement to extend the trial period for cross-border private cars to use the Shenzhen Bay Port. The Transport Department said the three-month trial period would be extended by another six months to allow sufficient time for cross-border car drivers to experience the new crossing without an extra permit.