Political Animal

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 September, 2008, 12:00am

The struggle to keep abreast of it all

There is a reason overseas news organisations always go to the same legislators for quotes on Hong Kong affairs. Quite simply, there are only a handful of them whose English is up to standard.

Foreign correspondents will therefore breathe a sigh of relief to see veterans such as Emily Lau Wai-hing return to the Legislative Council, as one of the 'new-generation' lawmakers has been not just shown up but ridiculed for his poor English. A YouTube clip of Gary Chan Hak-kan of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong giving an interview while awaiting his results has been the talk of the town for days. Responding to questions in English, he replied: 'Er, we will try our breast to er, er, er, still, er, try our breast - best, to er, not just er, criticise the government policy but also make some good suggestion in order to improve people's living hood [sic].'

With the clip having spawned such a popular catchphrase, Mr Chan now has a future beyond politics - that of a chicken-breast salesman in a supermarket, one commentator suggested yesterday.

Meanwhile 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung, looking ahead to the next four years of work, said: 'I will not try my breast. I will try my best.'

In a radio talk show yesterday, Mr Chan was forced to eat humble pie. 'When I have not performed, then I should admit it. I hope everybody will give me a chance to improve,' he said. 'Try my best,' he said, this time loud and clear. Political Animal hopes Mr Chan will keep 'abreast' of the criticisms and show 'betterment and progress' for the good of Hong Kong.

Cyd Ho takes a walk down memory lane

Cyd Ho Sau-lan, of Civic Act-up, was among the first election winners to make a physical return to the legislature she missed out on so narrowly in 2004. But unlike incumbents who can come and go as they like at the Legco building during summer recess, Ms Ho, yet to take her oath, had to go as a guest of former colleague Emily Lau Wai-hing yesterday. The pair went for a chat in one of the meeting rooms. 'Good to see you back, Cyd,' one secretariat staffer called.

It was almost like the old days, when Ms Ho was first elected to Legco in 1998 as Ms Lau's running mate.

The battle for seats: take two

The contest for the 60 Legco seats might have ended as the polls closed, but the battle to grab the actual seats in the Legco chamber, plus the location of new lawmakers' offices, has just started. As several incumbents have either retired or been defeated, the new Legco seating plan will be decided by lot-drawing on September 30, before lawmakers elect the new Legco president on October 8. One Democratic Party leader said that although his party wanted to become 'the cement' between the radicals such as the League of Social Democrats and the more middle-class-oriented Civic Party, they didn't necessarily want to sit next to each other. 'It is strange that we have become sandwiched between mad dogs and barristers,' the Democrat said, referring to newly elected Wong Yuk-man of the League and the legal eagles of the Civic Party.