T-G-I-V: Thank God it's vacation Lawmakers in the constitutional affairs panel will have Timothy Fok Tsun-ting to thank for being able to take a month-long holiday after his sudden, brief, and silent appearance at the panel's meeting yesterday. Sweeping in just in time to vote, his ballot helped ensure the panel will not hold extra meetings in August. Pan-democrats had pushed for two more sessions next month to continue discussion on the green paper. But the motion failed after the vote resulted in a 9-9 draw. Mr Fok, who has the third-lowest attendance rating at panel meetings, appeared just in time to receive a written copy of the motion, order an English milk tea and vote against meetings in August. He left after the vote and did not return, not even for more tea. Pan-democrats, who questioned the motives of pro-government lawmakers in not wanting to hold meetings next month, were visibly scornful of the result. Afterward, Lee Cheuk-yan exclaimed: 'Yea, vacation.' New seats for stiff Legco backs While the powers given to the legislature under the Basic Law will remain in place for 50 years, the seats of power on which lawmakers sit are set to go soon. Legco President Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai yesterday revealed that 81 comfortable new chairs will be installed in the Legco main chamber following repeated complaints by legislators about how the current furniture - which is 10 years old - gives them stiff backs during lengthy meetings. Fred Li Wah-ming, deputy chairman of the Legco house committee, said the new cream-colour chairs, which cost HK$3,300 each, would help save their backs. 'The new ones don't look as grand as the present ones, but they are healthier.' A professional politician Eyebrows were raised when Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah addressed a gathering of the 30S Group this month on the prospect of young professionals pursuing 'professional politics' - a topic normally under the portfolio of the chief secretary. The story gets better, though, because Mr Tsang and Henry Tang Ying-yen, the new chief secretary, have been named as future chief executive hopefuls. A source close to Mr Tsang, however, dismissed the seeming rivalry between the two. Referring to Mr Tsang's speech, he said all team members could do worse than to expound on the thoughts of Donald Tsang Yam-kuen over his governing team, which he described as 'professional, pragmatic and committed'. Executive branch tries to keep the peace The parting shot of former chief secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan against opposition lawmakers for crossing the fine line between the legislative and the executive is still echoing through the corridors of power. In a reply to legislators, Director of Administration Elizabeth Tse Man-yee sought to ensure old wounds would not damage ties with Legco. 'We will continue to strive to be as open and as accommodating as ever in embracing dissenting views ... We trust that we can partner with Legco in this with a view to fostering effective governance and preserving respect for freedom of expression for Hong Kong.'