Rather than getting a headache deliberating over whether to donate HK$100 million to the Sichuan government, it appeared that Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying had been pondering a more pressing issue - whether to announce his next policy address in October or January. Former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen followed colonial tradition and delivered all his policy speeches in October, but after Leung took office last year, he delayed his maiden policy address to January "to give the government time to build a partnership" with lawmakers returned in September. Since the government usually conducts a three-month public consultation before rolling out a policy address, Leung would have to start the exercise in July if he wanted to announce his second address this autumn. That would be just six months after his first address. An October announcement would match the reopening of the Legislative Council session, but a government source suggested that it could be difficult as Leung would then be expected to report on the progress of about 10 advisory committees set up in recent months. The source said it was not necessary for the speech to match the start of Legco's session, as the legislature's work would go on even without a new policy address.
Doing his bit for 'homeland relations'
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is well known for his patriotic sentiment - the surveyor-turned-politician was among the first batch of Hong Kong professionals to offer their expertise to the mainland after 1979. This sentiment can also be observed in his official travel records. He will be setting off today on his ninth mainland visit in 10 months - while he has yet to officially visit any foreign country. Leung will be visiting the Ministry of Commerce and the National Development and Reform Commission tomorrow, in his fourth trip to the capital since December. The chief executive, who emphasised the importance of strengthening the "homeland relationship" in his policy address, also paid multiple visits and met officials in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hainan province in recent months. In September, Leung cancelled his trip to the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation leaders' summit in Russia to deal with controversies on the home front, such as the national education saga.
Equality chief sings of forbidden love
In a show of support for sexual minorities, equality watchdog chief Dr York Chow Yat-ngok last Friday joined openly gay pop singer Anthony Wong Yiu-ming in singing two songs at the Civic Party's fundraising gala dinner. Chow, who was appointed chairman of the Equal Opportunities Commission last month, earlier promised to make legislation to protect gay rights a priority in his three-year term. Quashing doubts about whether his conservative Christian background would prevent him from lobbying on behalf of the sexual minorities, Chow and Wong sang one of the latter's Canto-pop hits about forbidden love, followed by Christian hymn Amazing Grace. Aside from receiving rounds of hearty applause for their renditions, the pair also helped the Civic Party raise more than HK$260,000.