CY dinner off the menu after Legco protests
Whether protesters who stormed the Legislative Council building on Friday can eventually derail the government's plans for new towns in the New Territories remains an open question. But they've already managed to throw another plan off course: a dinner between Beijing-loyalist lawmakers and Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. The two sides had been due to dine together this coming Friday in Central - their first dinner gathering in four months - but the reservation has been cancelled as the meal clashed with a Legco Finance Committee meeting. The committee was forced to delay a vote on funding for work on the new-town plan amid last Friday's protests and will try again this week, with lawmakers expected to be busy until at least 7pm. Lawmaker Wong Ting-kwong, from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said DAB chairman Tam Yiu-chung chose to cancel the dinner. Perhaps pro-government lawmakers have had their fill of Leung anyway? Only 25 of their number joined last week's lunch with the chief executive. The total attendance of 27 out of 70 lawmakers was the lowest for the legislative year.
DAB's soccer fans don't all back the reds
The World Cup was supposed to unite the world "all in one rhythm", but the carnival in Brazil seems to have created a rare rift within Hong Kong's biggest pro-government party, the DAB. Speaking on the sidelines of yesterday's Legco meeting, Wong Ting-kwong expressed sadness at the first-game thrashing suffered by defending champions Spain in the early hours of Saturday. Worse, the 64-year-old lawmaker missed seeing his favourites' 5-1 defeat to the Netherlands. "I set the alarm clock" to catch the 3am kick-off but "It woke my wife up but not me!" However, Wong's party colleague Ben Chan Han-pan was delighted by that game because he is a fan of the Dutch, as well as hosts Brazil. "I also support Mexico so it was OK that the Brazil-Mexico game ended in a 0-0 draw," Chan said of yesterday's match.
Party-loving lawyer told to ease off
Law Society president Ambrose Lam San-keung courted controversy when he endorsed Beijing's contentious white paper as "positive" on Monday, and he seemed undeterred by the criticism that followed. Speaking on RTHK on Tuesday, Lam was asked whether he loved the Communist Party. Lam initially refused to answer the question, which he described as "too sensitive", but went on to say that: "I think the Communist Party is great, because it has guided the country into a new era." Lam also admitted that the Communist Party was "flawed" and that the mainland legal system needed reform. However, his comment failed to impress even the likes of veteran Beijing loyalist Chan Yuen-han. "Lawyers should be pragmatic … and I think that doesn't sound like something that a [top] lawyer would say," Chan, honorary president of the Federation of Trade Unions, told the Post. "Of course the Communist Party ended difficulties … but after 1949, there were also political movements such as the Cultural Revolution … Lam should be careful … of Hongkongers' opinions about the Communist Party."