Political Animal

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 October, 2009, 12:00am

Rush to be seen in a good light

As high-energy lights continue to beam on Donald Tsang Yam-kuen over his low-energy-bulb scheme that critics claim could benefit an in-law's business, politicians are anxiously adding to the list of questions that could put them in the wrong kind of spotlight. Among them: do you know what brand of light bulbs you use? Do you know what business your in-laws are in? Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung disclosed that when renovating the offices of Economic Synergy, the group he formed in June with other Liberal Party defectors, he chose energy-efficient light bulbs. 'But what brand are they? I have no idea,' he said. Fellow lawmaker Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, whose son recently married, said all he knew about his in-laws was that they were retired. Sophie Leung Lau Yau-fun suggested: 'Surely, it would be too impolite to ask. They might go back to their daughter and tell her: 'You'd better not go along with this. That family is too much trouble.''

'Long Hair' not to blame, colleagues insist

Did lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung hurt a Legislative Council security guard during a scuffle at the chief executive's question-and-answer session last week or did he not? After reviewing a video of the incident - in which Leung was dragged out of the Legco chamber after shouting abuse at Tsang - his League of Social Democrats colleagues insist it wasn't his fault. 'We are prepared to go to jail for continuing our programme of direct action,' League lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip said. 'But don't blame us for the security guard's injury - he knocked his back on a table when trying to pull 'Long Hair' out of the chamber.' The guard was told by doctors yesterday to take another 10 days off work, while the Legco Secretariat is to discuss how to handle similar disturbances in the future.

Clear HK journalists' names, Lau demands

Establishment luminaries including the chief executive and his predecessor, Tung Chee-hwa, may be urging everyone to calm down over the police beating of Hong Kong journalists during the Xinjiang riots last month but Emily Lau Wai-hing, as might be expected, plans to do no such thing. The outspoken Democratic Party chairwoman is preparing to bring the issue into the legislature, with a motion calling on the central government to clear the names of journalists whom the Xinjiang authorities branded as having incited disturbances. Her motion will also call on media bosses not to send junior and inexperienced reporters to cover incidents that might endanger their personal safety.

Health chief cools on hot idea

Signs are emerging that health chief Dr York Chow Yat-ngok's 'innovative idea' to turn disused factories into storage places for cremation ashes may go up in smoke. In contrast to his earlier enthusiasm, the secretary for food and health said yesterday that it would not be an easy task to turn factories into columbariums because it required the consent of several government departments as well as residents and district councils. His cooling-off came after reservations expressed by Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. Chow put forward the plan after last Wednesday's policy address announcement that rules would be eased so that about 1,000 old industrial buildings could be redeveloped or converted to other uses.