Donald Tsang

Political Animal

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 February, 2008, 12:00am

Spreading democracy here, too?

Hong Kong will have its first encounter with the new face of British foreign policy later this month with a visit by Foreign Secretary David Miliband, an avowed advocate for spreading democracy in the world.

Mr Miliband, at 42 Britain's youngest foreign secretary in 30 years, makes his visit at a time of heated debate over the preferred model for electing the chief executive by universal suffrage nine years down the road. It also comes after he made an impassioned speech at Oxford University proclaiming he is 'unapologetic about a mission to help democracy spread through the world' and noting that people inside and outside China were 'rightly concerned about the next stage in political development'.

Whether or not he develops that theme here remains to be seen, however.

The British Chamber of Commerce says that in his only speaking engagement in the city - a breakfast briefing on February 25 - he will speak of our former colonial ruler's relationship with China and the position of Hong Kong within that relationship.

Giving Tin Shui Wai a different character

What's in a name? Would Tin Shui Wai by any other name be less depressing? Perhaps, perhaps not. Having called on the chief executive to change the name of the town infamous for family violence and suicides, rural affairs leader Lau Wong-fat yesterday proposed a few names he believed would instil a better sense of hope for the local residents. They include Tim Shui Wai , meaning 'adding fortune' and Tin Shui Wai 'heavenly fortune' instead of the present name which means 'heavenly water'. He said the names would be tabled to the district council for consultation later.

New addition delights Grandpa Donald

What better way to usher in the Year of the Rat than having your wish come true? Donald Tsang Yam-kuen was all smiles yesterday as news of his newborn granddaughter circulated widely in political circles. The baby girl of his elder son was born two days ahead of the Lunar New Year. Grandpa Donald could not be happier, and served a surprise treat of chocolates to ministers during their morning session earlier this week. It's nice to see the chief executive - who once urged couples to have at least three children to arrest the declining birth rate - doing his bit, albeit indirectly.

Lawyer Greg So runs out of conviction

A low-profile leader of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, vice-chairman Greg So Kam-leung, has always said he is not a suitable candidate in elections. But he told Political Animal he had at one point thought of running. 'When [former DAB chairman and legislator] Ma Lik passed away, I thought, 'It is a seat left vacant by our chairman and perhaps I should re-capture it for the party',' the lawyer said. But he finally decided he was better suited to internal party work. As for the Legco poll in September, Mr So - who has been widely tipped as a possible deputy minister under a new government structure - said he did not have the conviction to run.