Fruitless but entertaining

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 July, 2013, 4:07am


In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was consigned to an eternity of futile effort pushing a boulder uphill. Tomorrow, five pan-democrats will be making the same effort to prevent the Southern District Council from passing a motion against the Occupy Central campaign. Over the past weeks, 16 out of 18 district councils have passed a similar motion moved by the Beijing loyalists, but tomorrow five Southern council members - four young democrats and independent Paul Zimmerman - have pledged to launch a last-ditch filibustering attempt. Law Kin-hei, also the vice-chairman of the Democratic Party, said at least 40 amendments to the original motion could be filed tomorrow to allow them to extend the debate "for hours". The effort might be fruitless, but could be entertaining. One amendment, to be filed by fellow democrat Henry Chai Man-hon, sought to condemn the 1967 riot - led by Communist Party supporters - instead of the Occupy Central campaign, saying it was the real example that "undermines the status of Hong Kong as a financial centre and subverts the … rule of law". Joshua But


Receiving the gifts without fear or favour

To take or not to take, that is the question.

Zhang Xiaoming , director of the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong, received half a dozen gifts from lawmakers during a lunch with 50 legislators on his unprecedented visit to the Legislative Council on July 16. These include a sieve given by Frederick Fung Kin-kee to illustrate the advantages of a screening process for the 2017 chief executive election and a book on the Communist Party's pledge for democracy during its struggle against the Kuomintang in the 1940s. Zhang and his entourage did not take the gifts when they left the Legco complex, sparking speculation that he was trying to prevent political embarrassment. But then the liaison office telephoned the Legco secretariat a few hours later to ask for the gifts to be delivered to its office in Sai Ying Pun, a person familiar with the matter said.

"It was the liaison office which took the initiative," the person said. By asking for the gifts, the office is reflecting the fact Zhang is not too concerned with political backchat and does not mind tackling sensitive questions head-on where the pan-democrats are concerned. Gary Cheung


Twice the joy for top student

Tsang Tsz-kwan, the Ying Wa Girls' School student who had superb scores in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education exams, was pleasantly surprised last week when she received yet another letter congratulating her. The letter is special for Tsang, who has been overwhelmed with congratulatory messages since the release of the results on July 15, because it is both in Braille and normal type and the author is Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung. Cheung, whose portfolio covers rehabilitation for the disabled, wrote in the letter that Tsang's determination to overcome obstacles and the spirit of never giving up set a good example for young people. "The nurturing by your parents, teachers from Ying Wa and Ebenezer School (a school for blind students where Tsang studied) are behind your success. I salute them for their efforts," the minister wrote.

Tsang was born blind and has been hearing-impaired since childhood. A lack of sensitivity in her fingers means she must read Braille with her lips. But top marks in English, Chinese and liberal studies have set her up for a university place at the age of 20. She bagged 5** in Chinese, English and liberal studies and 5* in English and Chinese literature. Gary Cheung