Dragon boaters take to electoral waters Ever seen a candidate for a district council seat running under the banner of vegetable hawkers or dragon boat athletes? Well, in November's elections, voters will see on their ballot papers the names and logos of such organisations with candidates, which seemingly have little to do with politics. A surprisingly large number of groups have registered with the Electoral Affairs Commission to have their titles printed alongside those of the usual political parties under a new rule. They include the Mongkok Vegetable Wholesale Merchants Association, Hong Kong Miniature Football Association, Hong Kong Dragon Boat Association and the Hong Kong Flower Retailers Association. Legislator Chim Pui-chung's company, C.P.C. Investments, is also one of the bodies granted approval for its name to appear on the ballots. Let's hope those lawmakers who have long been pushing for the development of party politics will not take the appearance of these 'apolitical' groups as a general trend of political apathy. Medical fight won, now for the partying Talking about Chim Pui-chung, the legislator for the financial services sector is up and about after winning a battle with cancer. He said that after being treated for a neck tumour in July, he was undergoing Chinese herbalist treatment and his condition had improved. The food-loving, big-spending lawmaker was quick to dismiss fears his heavy workload could affect his health. But back to work also means back to partying, with his diary already fully booked with lunch appointments, among them celebrations with journalists. Legco duo poised for farewell acts The Legislative Council will have a new president and new secretary general from October next year. Following president Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai's decision to step down by the end of the current term, secretariat chief Ricky Fung Choi-cheung is also retiring next year. Having been the supporting arm for lawmakers since 1994, the chatty former administrative officer is surely going to miss life observing the cut and thrust of politics in the corridors of power. But he will be more than happy to devote his retirement to travelling, horse racing and, above all, spending more time with his one-and-a-half-year-old grandson. Tourism Board role? No way, says Fred Li Is it an honour or a curse? After all, not all democrats would consider an appointment to a public body as a gift. Democrat legislator Fred Li Wah-ming said it would be the kiss of death if rumours that he would be appointed to the Tourism Board were true. 'Even if the government appoints me, I will not take it. I would rather monitor the government from outside,' he said, pointing to what he called an unhappy experience as a member of the Urban Renewal Authority's board. But surely the number of public offices one holds could reflect somehow one's relationship with the government? 'I don't want to become [Anthony] Cheung Bing-leung. Let somebody like him get all the praise.' Professor Cheung, a former Democrat considered a government ally, and also a member of Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's cabinet, was yesterday recommended as head of the trouble-plagued Hong Kong Institute of Education.