Sorry isn't the hardest word in stadium saga

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 August, 2013, 5:05am

If there was any silver lining in the cloud hanging over the Hong Kong Stadium saga, it would be that we finally had a top government official apologise for a setback right in front of the cameras. But for Tsang Tak-sing, secretary for home affairs, "sorry" was in all probability not quite the hardest word to say, compared with the challenge of offering a solution for the deplorable state of the stadium's pitch. A government insider said Tsang's apology, made after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's unannounced trip to the stadium on Monday, was not part of the game plan. "Tsang knows very well that the pitch is an old problem, but his boss was apparently furious after the visit. That left Tsang with no choice but to issue a public apology on the same day," the source said. Looking back, the "killer pitch" comment by Sunderland manager Paolo DiCanio was made last Friday, but it was not until Monday that a top official issued a response to the remark. What happened to the "Hong Kong speed" Leung advocates? Joshua But


Trotting the globe beats hectic Legco life

A seat in the Legislative Council may seem like the dream job for many, but not for former veteran lawmaker Cheung Man-kwong. From visiting Manchester United in Britain to Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar, from touring Thailand to South Korea, the former Democratic Party legislator has been globetrotting since last summer, when he left the place he had served in for more than 20 years. His next destination, Cheung says, is Mongolia - a less popular tourist spot than Inner Mongolia , which lies within China's territory. "People like me, who lack a home return permit, are like the disabled; there are always places we're barred from going," he said. "I couldn't even book a flight to outer Mongolia that transits in Beijing … There are fewer choices." The travel hiccups notwithstanding, Cheung said he enjoyed his new endeavours far more than his hectic and messy life in Legco.  Jeffie Lam


Wong Yuk-man's milk powder a 'sweetener'?

Pan-democrats often accuse Beijing-loyalist parties of giving out goodies to the community in return for the people's votes, but it seems this election tactic isn't exclusive to the pro-establishment camp. Radical lawmaker Wong Yuk-man has put up posters in his Sham Shui Po office announcing that anyone who presents a birth certificate of a newborn will receive two cans of an Australian brand of infant formula called Belbow. Considering that baby milk powder has become as precious as gold in the city since it caught the eye of cross-border parallel-goods traders, a source from a Beijing-loyalist party derided Wong's move. "He's even more aggressive than we are in giving out freebies. I hope he'll come into line with us and stop making his 'goodies for votes' accusation in the future," the source said.  Jeffie Lam