STAFF AT RTHK'S English-language service were unhappy with the uncertainty that hung over Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's scheduled Q & A session after his Policy Address. Two days beforehand, insiders say, they were told Mr Tung might pull out. Not until the day of the speech did his office confirm he would do the broadcast the next morning. Government information co-ordinator Stephen Lam Sui-lung described the issue as 'just a matter of scheduling'. He declined to confirm the threatened cancellation, saying: 'It is not our practice to disclose discussions with other media.' And insisting: 'It was always our intention to schedule the radio phone-in on October 11.' In the event, it was highly successful. But in this much-vaunted bilingual society, RTHK Radio 3 staff are not unfamiliar with problems of this kind. The ebullient Chief Secretary for Administration, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, is notoriously unenthusiastic about going on English-language programmes. Anybody know why? The problem with political satire - or any satirical humour - is that it is never in good taste. But that hasn't stopped officials rebuking RTHK's Headliner programme for a spoof supposedly on the Taleban regime but actually on the Policy Address. The sketch suggested Mr Tung was seriously under siege and should hand over to the 'northern regime' (Beijing, in other words). Howls of disapproval followed from the usual chorus line of people yet to make the transition to the 21st century. A spokesman said that as a public broadcaster, RTHK had to be impartial, accurate and observe taste and decency. Doesn't the Government recognise the difference between a news programme and a current-affairs-based entertainment show? But it hasn't been all angst at the station. Wednesday's late-night music programme hosted by vintage broadcaster Ray Cordeiro included the former chief justice and current Executive Councillor, Ti Liang Yang. Addressing each other as 'TL' and 'Uncle Ray', the two chatted about Mr Yang's love of music, the candlelight cheek-to-cheek dancing sessions he and his young crowd enjoyed at home - until their parents returned and broke up the party - and reminiscences of his student days and early married life in England. Mr Yang's favourite songs were played, and there was a moment to savour when he said he was such a fan of the show, he often stayed up to listen until it ended at 2am, 'unfortunately for the litigants who appeared before me the next morning'. This was the first time Uncle Ray had interviewed a political figure in 52 years at the mike. Mr Yang confessed the experience was more enjoyable than an Executive Council session. Has that 'devious' Falun Gong cult been getting to Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee? On Tuesday, the Secretary for Security assured residents the authorities could cope if anthrax letters arrived here. Mrs Ip said Hong Kong was a low-risk city, and besides, there was enough 'gai yeuk in the hospitals'. Gai yeuk is Cantonese for 'curing medicine', but it is a term only used in martial-arts novels. Mrs Ip has gone to considerable trouble to seek insights into Falun Gong. She has read a book by its leader, Li Hongzhi, which she likened to watching Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain, a martial-arts film directed by Tsui Hark. Maybe. But it sounds as though the film has made a lasting impression. We're a wimpish lot in Hong Kong, implied Shanghai Mayor Xu Kuangdi before the Apec summit: 'I knew immediately [that] you come from Hong Kong. No Shanghainese would wear a jumper at this season,' he told an SAR reporter. OK, they're tougher. But our climate is kinder.