Amid express rail row, it's a Nice time for CY
As government officials were busy trying to defuse the controversy over the express railway delay, Leung Chun-ying was busy doing something else. The chief executive was apparently attending a wedding banquet in southern France. It was not your average wedding reception with roast pork and fried crab claws, but a three-day wedding in Nice where the heirs of two wealthy families were tying the knot. Leung, who is on leave for 10 days until May 6, is believed to have attended the nuptials of Emily Lam Tim-yi, daughter of entertainment mogul Peter Lam Kin-ngok, and Kent Ho Ching-tak, son of Sing Tao Group chairman Charles Ho Tsu-kwok. A government source confirmed Leung was in France, but said his whereabouts was a "private matter". Goodbye MTR; bonjour the famous beaches of Nice.
We found love in a voteless place
People Power chairwoman Erica Yuen Mi-ming may have lost in the Southern district council by-election last month, but she has found the love of her life. The former Miss Hong Kong finalist announced on Facebook on Monday that she would be marrying her boyfriend Anthony Lam Yue-yeung, who runs the media platform memehk.com  They are linked by politics: both are members of the same radical group and both have stood unsuccessfully in elections to the same district council. Lam came a distant third in the South Horizons West seat in 2011 - an election won by then Democratic Party member Andrew Fung Wai-kwong. In last month's by-election, sparked by Fung's resignation to become the government's point man for media relations, Yuen managed second, behind New People's Party's Judy Chan Ka-pui. Yuen said she still regarded it as a victory because she got more votes than Democrat Sin Chung-kai. Besides preparing for her wedding in December, it is understood that Yuen will also be busy doing community work in South Horizons over plans to turn a shopping mall in the middle-class residential complex on Ap Lei Chau into a shopping outlet for tourists.
Democracy's high price for the poor pan-dems
Democracy has its price, and sometimes even those committed to fighting for universal suffrage can't afford it. This is illustrated by a drama quietly playing out behind the scenes of the pan-democrats' bickering over aspects of political reform and questions over whether their Alliance for True Democracy can survive. Welfare sector lawmaker Peter Cheung Kwok-che - one of the 26 pan-democrats making up the alliance - has confirmed that the union he heads might not join the alliance as planned - not because of its political stance but due to financial difficulties. "The alliance has required all parties or associations the lawmakers represent to hand in a sum of money [for running costs and publicity]," Cheung said. "We have stated our difficulties and the alliance has generously offered us a lower fee … but still, the sum is a lot for our union." Alliance convenor Professor Joseph Cheng Yu-shek lamented that pan-democrats in general were very poor, but said the union would not be sidelined.
Reform: has seeding plan served up an ace?
With the consultation on constitutional reform ending on Saturday, plenty of political groups are preparing proposals. But amid the stampede, one idea stands out. Industrial sector lawmaker Lam Tai-fai has suggested a seeding system, much like in tennis. Under his plan, the current chief executive or any of the five "super seat" district council functional constituency lawmakers could stand without being nominated by the nominating committee. "The arrangement [would prevent them] from using public time and resources to lobby for support," Lam said.