Political Animal

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 July, 2010, 12:00am

DAB campaign strictly for high-fliers

The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong is aiming high in its latest recruitment drive - about as high as you can go, apparently. The largest political party, with 14,424 members which it aims to expand to 20,000, has sent out e-mails proclaiming: 'Sincerely invite you to join the DAB - a party with future' bearing a picture of a ladder leading into the clouds. Is the DAB suggesting that membership gives one access to a stairway to heaven? The message gives no clue. All we know is that each member has been asked to introduce a certain number of new recruits in the coming year, which may be why Political Animal got a copy of the e-mail. However, despite the intriguing prospect of becoming a really high flier, we have to disappoint the sender, as we feel remaining non-partisan will do more for our betterment and progress.

No 2 slot more demanding than top job

How do you qualify to become the privacy commissioner? Or, even more interestingly, his deputy? The questions are raised by government advertisements published in this newspaper for people to fill these sensitive and demanding posts. For the commissioner, an advertisement published in March and April stated, the candidate required 'at least 10 years of relevant experience in public administration, professional practice or private-sector management at a senior level'. Aspirants that didn't quite make that grade might have thought of applying for the No 2 slot - unless they read an advertisement, published in February, and ended up a tad confused. Candidates for the deputy privacy commissioner role 'must have at least 15 years' demonstrable track record in senior management or professional positions', it said. Explaining the paradox, a spokesman for the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau said the commissioner was, by law, appointed by the chief executive, and the commissioner had the power to decide the selection criteria of his staff. Did Roderick Woo Bun set too high a standard for his subordinate? In any case, his successor Allan Chiang Yam-wang, whose appointment has recently generated controversy, would meet the requirement, as he was assistant postmaster general 15 years ago.

If you can't stand the heat ... get out of the taxi

Journalists thirsty for eye-catching photo opportunities, sensational stories and entertaining sound-bites during the quiet summer can heave a sigh of relief. Part II of environment minister and lawmakers sweltering in 'taxi saunas' will go up for public viewing soon. Edward Yau Tang-wah and eight lawmakers spent the whole afternoon on Monday touring around Causeway Bay, Mong Kok and Hung Hom visiting professional drivers and getting a taste of their lives under the proposed law banning idling engines. During his visit to Hung Hom railway station taxi stand, the minister hopped into a taxi cab, where the temperature was well into the 40s, for 30 minutes. Members of Legco's bills committee studying the proposed ban will conduct similar visits to taxi stands in the New Territories but the details have not yet been fixed. Yau has been invited to join them. Political Animal will wait and see whether the minister can break his own record of standing the heat inside those four-wheeled saunas.