DURING WEDNESDAY'S Legislative Council sitting, Education chief Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun appeared so absorbed in her conversation with Democrat Cheung Man-kwong in the ante-room that she failed to return to the chamber in time to answer a question from unionist legislator Leung Fu-wah. Her absence brought the sitting to a temporary halt. On her return after the adjournment Ms Law explained that she was having a 'solemn' talk with a lawmaker. But in rushing back to the chamber she left her handbag behind. Mr Cheung was spotted bringing it back to her. Mr Cheung later dismissed any speculation about their talk, which possibly hinged on Ms Law's controversial remarks about teachers last week. However, observers were left wondering whether Ms Law is eyeing Mr Cheung, a teacher by profession, to fill the chair of the Education Commission left vacant by Financial Secretary-designate Antony Leung Kam-chung. 'No such thing,' Mr Cheung said, saying his opposition to the proposed slash in university funding remained unchanged. Members will vote at today's Legco Finance Committee on the higher education funding applications. Professor Chang Hsin-kang, president of the City University of Hong Kong, has the ear of Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa. That seems to have been partly the reason for his appointment as head of the long-awaited Culture and Heritage Commission last March. The charismatic professor is having a harder time being listened to by anyone from within his new cultural advisory body, though. Sources say the group has yet to manage a meeting of all 17 members. Professor Chang anticipated as much when he said his first goal would be getting all the movers and shakers in one room. 'Ask me how the commission will work in three months from now. Esprit de corps, and good rapport among members is the first thing I'd like to achieve,' he said. Don't expect too much revolutionary arts policy from the body any time soon. Upset at a Security Bureau proposal to replace departmental quarters for rank-and-file officers with a scheme to help them buy their own flats, the Correctional Service Officers' Association has hit on a compelling reason to oppose the idea. The association's Stephen Wong Wai-hung says departmental quarters are a major draw in attracting new recruits and retaining staff. Furthermore, he says, Financial Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen was brought up in departmental staff quarters, as his late father was a police officer. So was his younger brother Tsang Yam-pui, who is now Commissioner of Police. Therefore the accommodation obviously provided a good environment for the brothers to study and follow their father by becoming dedicated public servants. It will be interesting to see how the Security Bureau gets out of that one. Was it the new man in the White House who was uppermost in the thoughts of Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong member Chan Yuen-han in Legco this week? Those who attended the debate on the controversial proposal to corporatise the Survey and Mapping Office thought so. In the heated debate, Ms Chan twice referred to the Director of Lands, Robert Pope, as 'Mr Bush'. Whether it was former president George Bush, his son George W., or perhaps another Mr Bush altogether, only Ms Chan can tell. Mr Pope, however, did not appear to notice the slip. He replied to all questions without, it is reported, beating about the bush.