Patten misses boat, but not the bandwagon Bounding through the waves of the financial storm comes Hong Kong's last governor, Chris Patten, to promote yet another book. But while the title, What's Next: Surviving the 21st Century sounds prophetic for these troubled times, the book lacks Lord Patten's thoughts on the current crisis because it went to press before the meltdown. That, of course, won't prevent him from sharing his views on the matter as he stumps the city on a series of speaking and book-signing engagements. Among them, long-time friends, including the proprietor of his favourite egg-tart shop and former government officials, have been invited to a November 3 chin-wag held by Commercial Press in its flagship store in Tsim Sha Tsui. A day later, a session called 'In Dialogue with Chris Patten' will be held at the University of Hong Kong. Rising star shot down Legislators may be licking their chops over the opportunity to get stuck into the government during the formal Legco inquiry into the Leung Chin-man case. But The Frontier lawmaker Emily Lau Wai-hing couldn't resist getting in a barb of her own yesterday. Seizing on the presence of two Development Bureau officials at a post-policy address briefing, Ms Lau heaped praise on Permanent Secretary for Development (Works) Mak Chai-kwong for his advice on Mr Leung's application for permission to take a highly paid job with property developer New World. Mr Mak, it may be recalled, was the only official to warn against allowing the former Buildings Department chief to take the job, saying it might cause a public perception problem. Ms Lau said the advice by Mr Mak, an engineer by training, was 'much better' than that offered by veteran administrative officers. As Mr Mak beamed, his colleague, administrative officer Raymond Young Lap-moon, was stone-faced. No wonder. Mr Young, widely seen as a rising star in the AO team, was criticised during the row for not being sensitive to the implications of Mr Leung's application. Testing times for 'Taipan's' talent scouts Are they scared by the language test DAB legislator Gary 'Try Our Breast' Chan Hak-kan was given on 'Taipan' Albert Cheng King-hon's ATV talk-show last week? Or is it simply that the programme's reported low ratings have become a disincentive for deputy ministers to try to boost their public profiles there? Political Animal understands the original plan to invite a phalanx of undersecretaries to appear on the late-night show has been dropped after some political appointees declined the invitation. But fans of 'Taipan' can rest assured that he has found plenty of other political animals to face the test on the shows, which are scheduled to end at the weekend.