The fate of the civil service pay-cut bill appeared to be hanging in the balance last night as senior officials intensified lobbying for support. Chief Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen actively sought members' support on the sidelines of a Legco sitting. Some members who had been expected to oppose the bill showed signs of a change of mind. Lau Ping-cheung, who represents architects, surveyors and planners in Legco, said he did not agree with the bill. His vote could be crucial. Some 28 legislators remain firm in their resolve to oppose the bill, including three from the Federation of Trade Unions, 12 from the Democratic Party, two each from The Frontier and the Confederation of Trade Unions and unionists and non-affiliated lawmakers. Mr Lau yesterday did not rule out the possibility of being absent from the meeting when the bill is tabled for a vote next Wednesday. The legislation will give legal force to pay cuts of between 1.58 and 4.42 per cent for 180,000 public servants effective from October. Eric Li Ka-cheung, convenor of the 'Breakfast Group', also refused to say how he would vote, saying: 'I don't want to make the matter even more difficult to resolve by making known my stance now.' Ng Leung-sing, banker and non-affiliated legislator appointed by the 800-strong Election Committee, said nearly 200 committee members supported legislating the pay cut. Bernard Charnwut Chan, representing the insurance sector, said he had issued a questionnaire among 500 executives in his sector. So far, over 100 had responded and most of them backed the government bill. Despite their response, Mr Chan, who is chairman of the Standing Committee on Disciplined Services Salaries and Conditions of Service, said he faced a dilemma on whether to vote. Chan Kwok-keung of the Federation of Trade Unions vowed that three of the four federation representatives in the legislature would vote against the bill. 'I am not sure about Tam Yiu-chung because of his previous connection with the Executive Council. He might still have to toe the government line because of an earlier promise,' he said. Financial Secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung was quoted by a unionist yesterday as saying he did not want 'public servants to become public enemies'. Stephen Wong Wai-hung, spokesman of the Joint Committee on Disciplined Services Staff Associations/Unions, said: 'He [Mr Leung] only told us not to turn public servants into public enemies. But I hope the government does not become the public enemy of civil servants.' Liu Kit-ming, chairman of the Local Inspectors' Association, said the four police unions have raised $1.02 million. They would sue the government if they obtained the support of half of their 54,000 members. Yesterday, civil service unions distributed pamphlets near Revenue Tower in Wan Chai opposing the pay cut.