It's anyone's guess who's coming to lunch

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 July, 2013, 4:14am

Pan-democratic lawmaker Frederick Fung Kin-kee seemed keen to talk to Beijing's top official in Hong Kong, Zhang Xiaoming , about universal suffrage at an unprecedented luncheon to be hosted by Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing on Tuesday. But whether Fung will make it to the head table remained unsure yesterday. The occasion will be the first time the central government's liaison office has sat down with lawmakers from all shades of the political spectrum since the 1997 handover, and Tsang promised the head table would include legislators from all major political parties. Tsang revealed that there would be 16 seats at the head table, including four for him, the Legco secretary general, Zhang and his deputy, and eight party chiefs - including those from the Liberal Party, New People's Party, Democratic Party and Civic Party. Who from among the smaller parties and about a dozen independents gets the remaining four seats rests with the Legco Secretariat. Tony Cheung


Civil action might force tough line from Beijing

One does not need a crystal ball to know it will be arduous for Beijing and the pan-democrats to agree on a proposal to achieve universal suffrage in Hong Kong. To some democratic veterans, the Occupy Central campaign offers a glimmer of hope, but it is more of a dilemma to Ronny Tong Ka-wah. The Civic Party lawmaker, known by fellow pan-democrats for his unorthodox remarks, yesterday expressed his fear about the campaign, which advocates using civil disobedience to strive for democracy. "I worry that the more appealing Occupy Central is to Hong Kong people, the more likelihood the political reform will result in failure," he said. "Beijing would hate you so much for disrupting the city's order, but it would not yield, and would only take a hardline stance." Joshua But


Lantau hills could spare golf course

The desperate search for land to build houses has made the 170-hectare Fanling golf course in the northeastern New Territories an obvious target. But finance-sector lawmaker Ng Leung-sing, also a banker, is one of those who issued a "hands-off warning" over the most prestigious golf club yesterday. "The idea unnecessarily heightens the tension between the rich and the poor," Ng, who insisted he was not keen on the sport, said. He then turned the attention to the green belt at Lantau. "Every time you drive to the airport, you notice many small hills in north Lantau. Why don't we explore the idea of building houses on the hillside?" There might be some cows residing, but they won't file judicial reviews, will they? Joshua But