Perfect stage, but actress changes her lines
Pundits and journalists who had held out hope that prominent actress Liza Wang Ming-chun might cause a controversy at the annual Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference plenum look set to be disappointed. Wang, who made headlines last year when she called on Beijing to grant all pan-democrat legislators home-return permits, said she had decided not to make any formal submissions at the current plenary session.
A vocal critic who says the government gives too little support to the promotion of Cantonese opera, Wang had originally planned to raise the issue of conservation of Hong Kong's heritage. Now she has dropped the plan, saying the matter is too local to be raised at the national advisory body, and that she was busy reworking a proposal covering the nation's heritage conservation.
Shy of e-mails? Try the telephone
After year-long requests by Hong Kong deputies to the National People's Congress for a website of their own, a page affiliated with the NPC homepage finally appeared two weeks ago, just before the annual meeting began. The profiles and pictures of each Hong Kong member, with their e-mail addresses, were posted for people who wanted to contact them to air views or complaints.
Standing Committee member Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, however, pointed out yesterday that some deputies, especially older ones, might not be used to dealing with people through computers. She suggested at a meeting with the NPC Standing Committee's deputy secretary general, Qiao Xiaoyang, that a telephone hotline for local delegates could be set up, and staff would be needed to operate it.
Sail with Stanley Ho? Not pan-democrats
Being labelled by Macau casino magnate Stanley Ho Hung-sun as 'troublemakers' who 'stirred up s***', 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung said he and his political colleagues now wanted to come clean in their next attempt to enter Macau. He said he and other pan-democrats would not take ferries run by Shun Tak Shipping, of which Mr Ho is the director, for their voyage on Sunday. Mr Leung said: 'We'd better stay away from his ferries to avoid making them dirty.' Democratic legislator Lee Wing-tat was less diplomatic, saying their choice of ferries represented a protest against Mr Ho's comment.
The league's delicate ears
Here's irony for you. A complaint alleging the use of foul language by Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has been launched by none other than Mr Leung of the League of Social Democrats - a group known for its use of ... er, unconventional ... political language. Mr Leung said he would not let Mr Tsang off the hook when he met Legco president Tsang Yok-sing today. Mr Tsang is accused of uttering the Cantonese term gao up, which can be translated as 'bulls***', during a Legco session on January 15.
According to the official minutes, Mr Tsang used a moderate phrase meaning 'talking nonsense'.
Mr Leung said he would challenge Legco's president to listen to the recorded remarks to ascertain what the chief executive actually said. 'We will fight to the end because Legco's minutes should truly reflect what the chief executive said,' Mr Leung said.