HIGH PRAISE FROM the Central Military Commission for an elite PLA unit stationed in Hong Kong as a 'Model Red No 2 company'. The corps was established in 1927 as the 'Daduhe Company' in the Red Army era. It fought with distinction against the Japanese invasion and during the civil war with the Kuomintang. When it moved to Hong Kong, soldiers pledged to present a positive image, vowing to be 'strong as Tai Mountain' in fulfilling its mission. 'The company unit has participated in 55 military shows and performances and has done a wonderful job,' the state media reports. 'Company members have opened their camps to the public seven times but it has never been involved in any disputes with Hong Kong residents.' With a record like that, who's going to take them on? The firm which transcribed the evidence in the University of Hong Kong tribunal was thanked by inquiry panel chairman Mr Justice Noel Power for the efficient way staff carried out the work. No need to mention the name here. It featured prominently on television screens during the hearing, written large on laptops placed in front of the three panel members. The company is coy about revealing the fee, but says it was 'a special package' to suit the needs of the university. Let's hope - for the sake of taxpayers who ultimately foot the bill - that the discount was in proportion to the fortune it would have cost to buy that kind of advertising through the usual channels. Looking for a good read? Get a copy of the glossy 2000 Election Special, containing all you want to know, and things you were afraid to ask about the September poll. Take the line-up for the geographical constituency list on Hong Kong island, for example. One candidate describes himself as a 'statesman'. Perhaps one day he will be up there with Kennedy, Churchill and De Gaulle. Until then, it would be a start if Shuen Pak-man could make up his mind how old he is. The book states 23. The election Web site says 22. Then there's Paul Tse Wai-chun, dressed in his pink Superman outfit, which may have been good for turning heads when he handed out campaign pamphlets, but hardly presents an image of gravitas in the official election line up. Next comes Gary Cheng Kai-nam, whose troubles we don't need to repeat here, plus David Lan Hong-tsung, who is the subject of an interconnected mystery concerning polls. Finally, there's Bull Tsang Kin-shing who has apparently adopted his nickname 'The Bull' as his official English name. As far as bull goes, there's a lot of it about. Meanwhile, in the functional constituencies, veteran Democrat Cheung Man-kwong, formerly the education representative, is in trouble over his poor pronunciation of Cantonese. Mr Cheung has been a vocal opponent of benchmarking tests for schoolteachers, but the tables were turned on him when a reader wrote to a Chinese-language newspaper criticising Mr Cheung for the way he speaks and implying he was in no position to oppose the tests. The writer claimed Mr Cheung could not say his own name properly and said his version sounded like . . . er, this being a family newspaper, we'll just say 'something rather rude'. Mr Cheung, who actually speaks Cantonese reasonably well, admitted that he had pronunciation problems since childhood, but says he'll continue to oppose the tests. On Monday, before a TV election forum, Gary Cheng raised the issue of Christine Loh Kung-wai's impartiality as a forum member because she had expressed support for Cyd Ho Sau-lan. Little could he have realised that the following day . . .