Political Animal

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 July, 2009, 12:00am

Lawmaker declines to push his luck

Despite his peerless gambling skills, lawmaker Chim Pui-chung is taking a break from the casino tables, and that apparently includes hedging any bet involving the next chief executive. Yesterday, Mr Chim said he believed Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen and Executive Council convenor Leung Chun-ying would compete for the city's top job, but demurred when asked whom he thought would emerge as victor. Mr Chim, who admitted to winning some HK$200 million on the tables last year, said: 'Having won that much already, the next time I gamble I'm bound to lose it all again.' He might publish a 'gambling bible' instead, he said. Indeed, backing the wrong candidate for the chief executive is one gamble no one wants to risk losing.

Ocean Park swears it's cheap at the price

As the MasterCard commercials have told us over the years, certain moments in life will never have a price. Waiting two hours for your date and completely missing the film you had been longing to see, only to be rewarded with your first kiss as an apology, for example, is 'priceless'. Ocean Park, however, has decided to turn that concept on its head. In a paper released yesterday to justify its plan to raise prices, it put a price tag on fun. A HK$75 ticket for a movie lasting 1 1/2 hours means each hour of the entertainment is valued at HK$50. A HK$300 ticket for a concert of two hours works out to HK$150 an hour. So, paying HK$250 for eight hours inside Ocean Park means you are having fun for just HK$31.25 an hour. As the paper put it: 'Ocean Park stands out as the best value for money.' Not quite priceless - and there's no sign of a discount with the use of a MasterCard either.

Not your average end-of-term party

At the end of a school term, students tend to throw a dinner or a party, during which they make jokes and award one another prizes. But pro-establishment lawmakers take their end-of-term dinner a lot more seriously. Twenty-five pro-establishment lawmakers gathered at the Shanghai Fraternity Association last Thursday, with Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee bringing her daughter along. One lawmaker said he had at first opposed the idea of the girl coming along. 'Not because she's unwelcome, but I was afraid we would bore her to death,' he said. As it turned out, that lawmaker was probably right. With Tam Yiu-chung, chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, moderating, each lawmaker was invited to speak for about five minutes assessing their year's work and their plan for the year ahead. Some party.

Tanya Chan takes up the cudgel for trees

The city has seen its share of elections over the past few years, starting with the chief executive contest in 2007, followed by the district council polls, the Hong Kong Island by-election, and the full Legislative Council ballot last year. So frequently have elections been held that a summer without candidates decorating our streets with posters and slogans seems like an anomaly. Indeed, Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan, known for her energetic street campaigns for a Hong Kong Island seat last summer, looked like she was trying to recreate some of that vibe yesterday. Professionals working in the Central district may have spotted her patrolling the streets yesterday with her loudspeaker, urging people to sign a petition for legislation to protect trees. And though there is no election to win, she has set herself an equally, if not more, ambitious task. Ms Chan - who set off for an evening campaign tour around Kowloon East after making the round in Central - is out to secure support from all five geographical constituencies.