14 CRC members to work on new party

FOURTEEN members of the 17-strong Co-operative Resources Centre (CRC) are to join the steering committee for the new party planned by the centre and other conservative political figures.

Speaking after a day-long meeting, CRC convenor Mr Allen Lee Peng-fei revealed the figure although he refused to say who turned down the invitation to join.

But it is known that Mr Gilbert Leung Kam-ho, Mr Howard Young and Mrs Peggy Lam Pei Yu-dja have decided not to be on the steering committee.

Mr Lee said although the trio had declined to join now, that did not mean they would not join the party at a later date.

Asked if he was satisfied by the number of people joining, he said: ''It is not a matter of whether I am satisfied or not. The most important thing is whether those who are to join are committed to forming a new political party.'' Mr Lee also disclosed CRC members would be outnumbered by outsiders in the steering committee, although he declined to reveal the committee's size.

A source said the first committee meeting would be held either at the end of this month or in early February and that the size of the committee was about 35.

The source said a wide range of names, some of them rather unlikely, were being considered for the new party including the Liberal Party, Liberal Progressive Party, Conservative Party and the Republican Party. But the final decision would rest with thecommittee.

Legco's tourism sector representative, Mr Young, said last night he had decided against joining the committee now but still supported other CRC members on the plan to form a party.

He stressed his move did not mean he would not join the new party in the future, saying he would wait until the party's manifesto was out before making a decision.

He denied that his refusal to join the committee was because the new party might not be able to accommodate his functional constituency's interests.

It would not be right for him to join the committee before explaining to his functional constituency the benefits of doing so, he said.

He said that he earlier thought other CRC members who were also functional constituency legislators would not join the committee at such an early stage.

Mrs Peggy Lam could not be reached for comment last night.

Mr Gilbert Leung indicated earlier he would not join the new party and would prefer to run as an independent in the Legco direct elections in 1995.

Meanwhile, the CRC has yet to decide whether to support, oppose or abstain on Mr Philip Wong Yu-hong's motion, which asks the Governor not to introduce his political proposals to the legislature.