The 'CE needle' goes down a treat
Public health officials may have wondered how to persuade people to get the human swine flu vaccine - after all, it has a tongue-twisting official name and a possibly off-putting link to pigs. But they can take heart: the sight of Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen getting the injection has generated not merely jokes, but a handy nickname for the injection: many people are now calling it 'the CE needle', doctors say. This may also be good news for former pan-democratic lawmaker Albert Cheng King-hon, a friend of Tsang's often suspected of passing on information to him. For that he was dubbed the 'CE needle' - a presence as little-noticed as an acupuncture needle, gathering information for the CE. Cheng may now be able to dump the nickname. One expert on infectious disease was not amused by Tsang's high-publicity jab, hoping the city would accept the vaccine on scientific grounds alone. 'Having the chief executive receive a flu injection says nothing about the scientific basis,' he said sadly.
Young activists turn their skills to ... Avatar
As Hong Kong moves towards the new decade, many may feel it is entering an age of polarisation, confrontation and politicisation. Young activists, in particular, have emerged from a number of headline-catching protest actions: the planned razing of Wedding Card Street, the destruction of Queen's Pier, and most recently the scheme to relocate Tsoi Yuen Tsuen villagers to make way for the Express Rail Link. But their actions have drawn support from at least one wealthy benefactor, who has hired a whole cinema in Times Square to screen the new blockbuster Avatar on Saturday. The young activists have been put in charge of organising the event and inviting guests - in another sign of their growing role and influence in the civic movement. One of the invitees, lawmaker Tanya Chan of the Civic Party, said even though she did not know the benefactor's identity, she was happy to be invited since she hadn't seen the film. The movie depicts humans, in their thirst for more resources, destroying an idyllic planet and culture. Let's hope Tsoi Yuen Tsuen will also get a Hollywood ending.
The perils of holiday season for civic passions
It's no secret that few people care about politics during the holiday season, so the government was wise to wait until near year's end to unveil its long-awaited political reform proposal for public consultation. Now Paul Chan Mo-po, a lawmaker representing the accountancy sector, says he will hold a consultation session on political reform for accountants next month. But his civic passion may be misunderstood by some as a fake consultation, since that's the busiest time of the year for accountants. Chan says there's nothing fake about it, but when he looked at the calendar recently - what with the holiday season this month, the Lunar New Year in mid-February and other seasonal diversions - he was forced to admit the season offered little 'good' time to hold a consultation for busy accountants.
Digging deep to show up the chief executive
A group of five lawmakers set out yesterday to give the chief executive a lesson in stimulating the local economy. They appeared at the Hong Kong Brands and Products Expo Fair in Victoria Park, pledging to spend more than Donald Tsang Yam-kuen when he visited the annual fair two weeks ago. Tsang and his wife spent HK$1,800 at the fair this year, even though 12 months ago they dug about HK$10,000 out of their pockets at the same event. The five - Lam Tai-fai, Chan Kin-por, Paul Chan Mo-po, Dr Leung Ka-lau and Samson Tam Wai-ho - said their goal was to spend over HK$1,800 each: the fair could hardly survive if everyone who attended spent only HK$1,800, Lam said earlier.