Paul Chan declares 'storage box' interest

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 July, 2014, 4:23am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 July, 2014, 4:47am

Paul Chan declares 'storage box' interest

More than a year after Paul Chan Mo-po was rocked by a series of conflict-of-interest scandals, the secretary for development is still living under the shadow of the accusations. In the latest declarations of interest by executive councillors, released this week, Chan made known that his wife, Frieda Hui Po-ming, owns a "storage space" - or "storage box" in the Chinese version of the document - in Sydney. Hui may be remembered for managing a company that had stakes in land that fell within planned new towns, or for owning subdivided flats for investment. But a storage space? Chan's press secretary told All Around Town it was actually "a small plot of land in a corner, which is fenced up and next to a garage for storing small things". Looks like Chan has decided it is better to err on the side of caution than to incur the wrath of the conspiracy theorists again. Joyce Ng


Civil servants show support for democracy

Photos depicting support for democracy within the establishment have caused a stir in the local internet community. Each picture typically shows a staff card partially covered by a piece of paper bearing handwritten or typed messages such as "Public nomination is indispensible. Stop colonising, return Hong Kong to me" - suggesting the employee backs public nomination, an electoral reform proposal Beijing rejects. The newspaper Ta Kung Pao was one pro-establishment organisation whose staff card appeared on Facebook. An employee has confirmed the card in the image is genuine. Behind the online photo album is activist group Social Record Association (SocRec), which has uploaded about 80 such pictures since Friday that suggest support for universal suffrage or public nomination among civil servants, including firefighters, police officers and health care workers. Civil servants are required to be politically neutral. The Civil Service Bureau said: "Civil servants shall ensure that the views they express will not compromise their capacity to fulfil their official duties professionally, effectively and impartially." Tony Cheung


Japan popular with holidaying pan-dems

Leaving behind weeks of filibustering in the legislature, our honourable lawmakers can finally get some respite from the non-stop quorum bells before the city faces its next challenge: civil disobedience action that could take place next month to press for democracy. Japan seems to be a popular place to get away from it all. Labour Party stalwart Lee Cheuk-yan is headed there next week, followed by Democrats Albert Ho Chun-yan and Lee Wing-tat with their wives early next month. And there is a story behind that trip, according to "Ah Tat". "It was actually Mrs Ho who approached me first on the getaway [to Kyoto]," he said. "Ho Chun-yan is always too busy with work; once he even cancelled a planned holiday with his wife." Lee continued: "I am a very efficient person. Once Mrs Ho approached me, I booked everything immediately." Here's hoping that for Mrs Ho's sake, Mr Ho won't be checking his e-mails or taking phone calls too often in Kyoto. Jeffie Lam