Activist welcome on mainland, not in Macau Mainland authorities welcomed him, the choppy waters off the Diaoyu Islands tolerated him, but activist Ku Kwai-yiu yesterday found the doors to Macau closed to him when he tried to enter the city to pay a Lunar New Year visit to friends and family. 'It is really strange. I have never participated in protests against Article 23 [the national security law], and it was not even a sensitive time. Perhaps the Macau authorities wanted to force me to stay shopping in Hong Kong and boost the economy,' he said. Mr Ku, a member of the League of Social Democrats, has been active in the campaign to protect the Diaoyu Islands and has been one of the League's members allowed to visit the mainland. Last month, Macau barred a group of Hong Kong lawmakers who were trying to protest against the proposed national security bill from entering the city. Fortune favours the spin doctor at temple Through its Information Services Department, the Hong Kong government has long been a master of ensuring its officials take a unified line on public statements, and spinning bad news into good. The scope of such political spin now appears to have extended to the interpretation of fortune sticks. Despite rural leader and newly appointed executive councillor Lau Wong-fat drawing the worst possible fortune stick at Sha Tin's Che Kung Temple on Tuesday, the official fortune-teller on the spot said Hongkongers should be cautiously optimistic, and that the city should not isolate itself from the economic turbulence affecting the world. While urging people not to take the bad omen too seriously, Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who appeared at the same ceremony, nevertheless said the interpretation was a reminder for us 'to work together, pushing for economic development and creating local job opportunities'. So, is this the fortune stick talking or the government's official line? The lesser of those ominous signs Carrie Lam's comments probably came as no surprise, given that the stick told the tale of Emperor Qin Shihuang, who embarked on a construction spree for the Great Wall, sparking widespread opposition. A wall built to fend off outside threats caused greater strife within. The fact that immediately after drawing the stick Lau Wong-fat was accompanied by the development minister at a public event was uncanny enough. But you can add to that the death of a dog trapped between two ancestral halls and the barge that caught fire during part of the Lunar New Year fireworks display dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China while Ode to the Motherland was being broadcast. The barge was sponsored by the Association of the Hong Kong members of Guangdong's CPPCC. 'Cautiously optimistic', or fiery internal strife? The bad fortune stick was clearly the lesser of the ominous signs. 'Christian Taleban' sees unity achieved On the Hong Kong political scene, where consensus is rarely reached between lawmakers and officials, at least one mutual feeling has been expressed by both sides in the row over whether same-sex partners should be covered in the amendment to the domestic violence bill. 'The row has exposed how extreme some conservative Christian groups can become. In fact, it would be to our advantage if they continued to demonstrate they are very much like the Taleban,' said one pan-democrat lawmaker. One official dealing with the legislation also expressed such thoughts. 'Acting like a Christian version of the Taleban will only further alienate them from the general public.' Some Christian groups stirred controversy when they hurled abuse at homosexuals during a Legco meeting on the legislation.