Political Animal

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 February, 2008, 12:00am

Youthful Miliband makes an impression

With just one morning of public engagements, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband clearly had limited time to make an impression in Hong Kong. But his youthful good looks and impressive oratory skills seem to have made up for the brevity of his speeches and visit.

Asked after a tea gathering for their impressions of Mr Miliband, lawmakers said he was very young, but followed this with praise for his enthusiasm and grasp of a wide range of issues.

Female staff at the British consulate were also said to have been won over by Mr Miliband's youth, good looks and first-class Oxford degree in politics, philosophy and economics, with some admitting to having browsed his blog the night before.

Cautious reply to a question of democracy

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband's youthful image and oratory skills may have drawn a positive response, but at a breakfast talk with the British Chamber of Commerce, he encountered tough questions. These included which would come first - the fall of communism on the mainland, or the advent of full democracy in Hong Kong. The response was guarded. 'One of my first lessons in foreign policy from one of my predecessors was never to make predictions, so I will hold the line on that part.' However, Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen did not appear to be too starstruck by a meeting with the man tipped to lead the British Labour Party one day. Despite a lengthy encounter, the government news department merely issued two photographs entitled: 'CE meets British Foreign Secretary', without comment.

A shot at self-promotion, to a certain degree

The drama of the government's search for a new head of RTHK took an intriguing turn yesterday when former newspaper man turned radio talk show host Robert Chow Yung emphatically declared his candidacy. He spent nearly half an hour at a hastily-convened press conference trumpeting his success in journalism and public relations, never mind the fact he did not have a degree. He stood and raised his voice in vowing to abandon his relaxed lifestyle to frustrate what he termed attempts by critics to discriminate against people without degrees applying for the position of director of broadcasting. Quizzed by reporters about why he had not attempted to gain a degree, Mr Chow lamented he had been a victim of his successful career and this had ruled out a return to school. Citing factors such as marriage, the self-assured media man said he had found no incentive to take up his studies again.

All eyes on John Tsang's bag of goodies

All eyes are on how Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah will return wealth to the people in his maiden budget speech tomorrow, with many eagerly waiting for him to open his bag of goodies, on the back of a massive government surplus. A large wishing tree has been installed at a mega mall in Mong Kok for shoppers to voice their wishes, with the most creative ideas being rewarded with a cash prize. Cable News is inviting the public to speak their minds on the budget beginning at 1pm tomorrow.