Political Animal

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 August, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 August, 2009, 12:00am

Change of heart on a party matter

Has Executive Council convenor and possible chief executive candidate Leung Chun-ying finally managed to lay to rest rumours that he's a closet member of the Chinese Communist Party? Maybe, maybe not.

But at least one of the best-known purveyors of this juicy titbit has taken his word for it ... for the time being. Mr Leung, who this week posted a denial on his blog then quickly removed it, publicly stated on a radio programme yesterday that he was neither an official nor an underground member of the party.

'This is a matter of credibility and I have no way to prove it,' Mr Leung said, appearing quite helpless. 'But we all have to correctly understand the Chinese Communist Party, which is the ruling party of China of which Hong Kong is a part. We should not use this as a weapon to smear people.' To stress his point, he sent an e-mail to veteran politician and commentator Allen Lee Peng-fei, who said earlier he believed Mr Leung was 'definitely a Communist Party member'. Mr Lee responded: 'I now believe him, since he has publicly denied it,' but added: 'If people find out otherwise in the future, then he will only have himself to blame.'

The offer to go that had to be ignored

With the League of Social Democrats suggesting that pan-democrats should pick five lawmakers to resign in order to trigger a 'referendum on universal suffrage', the 'who' question has been lingering for some time, as not everyone wants to take the risk. An unlikely candidate emerged yesterday. The Civic Party's Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee revealed: 'I told our party leader Ms [Audrey] Eu [Yuet-mee] that perhaps I could resign. But, of course, she just ignored me.' After all, as the legal-sector representative acknowledged, her resignation would not be representative, as her functional constituency has only about 6,000 registered voters.

Calming the waters proves a little choppy

Heung Yee Kuk leader, executive councillor and respected elder Lau Wong-fat had some wise words yesterday for reporters keen to learn about progress in the relocation of Christian Zheng Sheng College, the drug rehabilitation school, to Mui Wo: 'Man is selfish.'

Mr Lau has been given the job of pacifying villagers opposed to having a drug rehab school in their backyard, but he admitted it was not proving easy. Appearing after a meeting with the chief executive over the policy address, Mr Lau at first insisted he would only respond to questions on that topic. Pressed, he let slip that the school issue had led him to be 'scolded by people'. Asked who would dare to scold the formidable rural leader, Mr Lau said the Cheung Chau business community had reacted badly when he suggested the school could be relocated on that island, instead of Mui Wo.

'What have we learned from this? That man is selfish. You support it when it is a problem somewhere else, but when it comes to you, you oppose it.'

Mr Lau was right in keeping his mouth shut at first. No doubt, he will be scolded again.