Yeung Sum normally tells bedtime stories to his children. Yesterday he recounted one to the Legislative Council instead. It was the famous tale of the hare and the tortoise: with its moral that taking the quickest route can lead to trouble. And it is one highly relevant to the issue of the moment. For Dr Yeung came closer than anyone else to forcing Tung Chee-hwa to admit what everyone knows the Government wants to do, but it has so far stubbornly refused to confirm - that is to ask the National People's Congress Standing Committee to re-interpret the Basic Law to over-rule the Court of Final Appeal ruling on the right of abode. Officials had always previously pretended to be considering other options: such as accepting the supposed 1.67 million migrants or asking the court to reverse its decision. But Mr Tung was more honest: admitting he was only interested in amending the Basic Law or asking the Standing Committee to help. Legislators failed to appreciate the significance of this admission. Cyd Ho made fruitless efforts to force Mr Tung to openly admit he wouldn't implement the judgment, apparently unaware he had already tacitly conceded as much. Only Dr Yeung was on the ball. Noting the Government's wish for a speedy solution, he said that suggested a reference to the Standing Committee, since the Basic Law cannot be amended until March. Mr Tung was unable to deny the logic of that argument, prompting a rare expression of thanks from the Democratic Party vice-chairman for having made his position so clear. But it came with a warning. 'The tortoise walks slowly and the hare runs quickly,' Dr Yeung said. 'But don't think the quick route is always the best answer. It may be detrimental.' After all, even the democrats may support amending the Basic Law, while a reference to the Standing Committee would be highly controversial. Despite the importance of the issue, most legislators were more interested in pursuing their own pet interests. Only eight of the 24 questions were about right of abode. Ma Fung-kwok, representing the entertainment industry, at least had the good grace to apologise for droning on about pirate VCDs yet again. Others tried to draw inventive links with their favourite topics. Christine Loh was gently chided by Mr Tung for arriving too late to hear him express concern about the environment. She tried to make amends by linking this to the right of abode. Apparently more migrants would mean more pollution. James Tien went further, drawing a link with China's entry into the WTO. He also enthused how the migrants might help 'meet the needs of the business sector in terms of human resources'. In other words, they would provide an endless pool of cheap labour. For businessmen, it seems that every cloud has a silver lining.