Loss of appetite hits Jockey Club in Beijing
A ban on officials using private clubs - imposed by President Xi Jinping last month as part of his anti-corruption push - has hit the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Its clubhouse in Beijing has seen dwindling business, especially during the recent political gatherings.
A Hong Kong delegate to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference said the restaurant at the Jockey Club's Jing Bao Jie premise had been much quieter during what is usually its peak season.
"I used to book a banquet room every night to host various friends," the delegate said. "Now there is no need. There was hardly anyone dining at the club." Said another delegate: "Mainland officials just avoid going to the clubhouse. There are cameras everywhere - if they are caught they will be in big trouble."
Bikini-surfing: the sign of a stressed-out man?
Democratic Party lawmaker Albert Ho Chun-yan may have disappointed his female fans when he was caught perusing pictures of bikini-clad women during the budget speech, but his party members have raised another concern: has Ho hit his stress threshold?
"In the past six months, he has lost interest in everything except political reform and the Occupy Central movement," a colleague lamented. "He has become very impatient too and his temper is getting worse."
Another feared Ho had put too much pressure on himself.
A good friend said the incident was "in line with" Ho's personality and working style. "He is very serious and careful with big issues but is always crazily careless at trivia. But this time he has to admit his behaviour was very stupid and he can't blame anyone else."
Maybe Albert needs to take a long break - but just don't take it inside the chamber.
Shakespeare stirred anti-graft chief's spirit
Former anti-graft chief Timothy Tong Hin-ming might be well-known for his love of the Chinese spirit mao-tai, especially after it was revealed that he spent lavishly on dinners and alcohol during his tenure at the top of the Independent Commission Against Corruption. But few knew he was a fan of the Bard as well.
On the sidelines of the CPPCC in Beijing, delegate Tong said he had appreciated Shakespeare's works since studying them as an undergraduate in English at Chinese University.
"King Lear might be a bit too old-fashioned now … but the themes in Macbeth and Othello - such as jealousy and the desire for power - are universal," he said. As Shakespeare wrote in Othello that "good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used", one may wonder if the Bard also inspired Tong in his use of alcohol.