Polling handshakes, a vote of confidence
When every vote counts, those scrambling for the 36 Hong Kong deputy seats on the National People's Congress might be forgiven for apparently lobbying for votes at the critical moment - despite a ban on vote canvassing on polling day. Dozens of contestants and their supporters crowded the main entry of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre with placards bearing candidates' names. Some hopefuls personally greeted every passing elector. Among them was commercial-sector lawmaker Martin Liao Cheung-kong, who later turned out to have won the most support with 1,403 votes. "Shaking hands is not the same as vote canvassing," Liao, a barrister, said with a smile. Not to say, the 23 incumbents out of the 52 aspirants who are also electors had an advantage over the other candidates in lobbying for support, as they could make their last-ditch effort even inside the polling station. Colleen Lee
Lau dubbed too old to hold public office
How old is old? At 60, new Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing probably doesn't see herself as geriatric yet. But some internet users saw it differently after her election on Sunday, dubbing her "Ah Po" or old woman. She was also criticised for inconsistency in making a last-minute decision to run after stating repeatedly that she wanted to make a complete retreat from the leadership. She had her supporters, though. A source said that Lau, who had been acting chair since former leader Albert Ho Chun-yan stepped down to take responsibility for the party's poor showing in the last election, had been persuaded to run by party veteran Yeung Sum. The source said Yeung thought the party needed a strong leader, as Hong Kong is facing a political "storm of unprecedented ferocity".
Another democrat noted that Lau was only a year older than Civic Party chairwoman Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, "so why is no one calling [Eu] 'Ah Po'? She won the party chairmanship uncontested. But Lau was directly elected through fierce competition. Who has the mandate?" Lauren Ho
Funeral home director gets honorary degree
Unlike property tycoons and industrialists, owners of funeral homes are unusual entrants on the list of honorary doctorates granted by local universities. But Gerald Siu Chi-shing, managing director of Hong Kong Funeral Home and director of Kowloon Funeral Home, is one of three recipients of the honour from the Open University today. Explaining its decision, the university said he had played a significant role in promoting the development of Hong Kong's funeral service industry and enhancing its professionalism over the past three and a half decades.
More importantly, in 2003 when the city was stricken by Sars, Siu led his staff to provide funeral services to those who died from the infectious disease, giving the last comfort to their grieving families, it said. Siu will receive an honorary doctorate in social sciences. Other two recipients of honorary doctorates are Professor Edward Chen Kwan-yiu, former president of Lingnan University, and Liu Mingkang, former chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission. Gary Cheung