Democrats foster ties that don't usually bind The Democratic Party denied yesterday it had been left owing the government a favour after revealing that four party veterans met Henry Tang Ying-yen just hours before he released the green paper on political reform. Lawmaker Lee Wing-tat said the meeting with the chief secretary was merely used to improve communications between the government and the party and that its members had always maintained a good relationship with Mr Tang. Mr Lee denied Mr Tang had lobbied them to support the green paper at the meeting, also attended by Martin Lee Chu-ming, Yeung Sum and Albert Ho Chun-yan. 'We exchanged views on a broad range of topics,' he said. Favour or not, the meeting did seem to have given the Democrats a head start over its allies in responding to the paper. While the other pan-democrats were poring over the paper and having meetings, the Democratic Party was already holding a press conference. A family divided Known as a family man, political heavyweight Leung Chun-ying has given full play to the notion of family in his new book. The content is weighty - a collection of articles on such topics as 'one country, two systems', diplomacy with the mainland, manpower strategy and the redevelopment of factory buildings. But the book is titled Family Is Hong Kong and carries pictures of Mr Leung, his wife and their three children - and it was designed by their eldest daughter. In his foreword, Mr Leung writes: 'We often say 'our family is in Hong Kong', which means literally our family members reside in Hong Kong. That does not say anything about the social relationship among seven million people. Such a concept is already outdated.' He calls for a greater sense of togetherness now that Hong Kong has returned to the motherland. Accountants not amused by HK$3m legal bill Accountants are complaining that they might have to foot a HK$3 million bill for the hiring of a British QC by their professional body to defend a judicial review brought by accounting sector legislator Mandy Tam Heung-man in a row over her Legco newsletter. In her long-standing tussle with the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Ms Tam is challenging the legality of the institute's refusal to circulate her newsletter to her constituents. One of the aggrieved accountants, AzureTax managing director Debbie Annells, said the institute should have consulted them before hiring foreign guns against their own ranks which cost 'such a large and unnecessary sum' for 'what many would regard as a trivial matter'. Ronnie prefers three chords and the truth The move by RTHK head Chu Pui-hing to seek early retirement after being snapped with a karaoke hostess has fuelled the curiosity of journalists in the private activities of other public figures, including legislators. Asked whether he had visited the karaoke bar in Causeway Bay attended by Mr Chu, Civic Party legislator Ronny Tong Ka-wah said: 'I don't like karaoke. I like singing and playing the music myself.'