Colleen Lee

Former government No 2 Anson Chan Fang On-sang had some pointed words about the current incumbent, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, saying Lam appeared upset at the way the government's political reform package had been rolled out but was stuck "between a rock and a hard place".

The Alliance for True Democracy will push for the chief executive poll nominating committee to be elected by all Hong Kong voters in 2017, sources say.

The legislature approved a controversial HK$100 million government donation to official Sichuan earthquake relief efforts yesterday, despite earlier worries over a possible filibuster.


The scandal surrounding former head graft-buster Timothy Tong Hin-ming should be investigated by the police, not the Independent Commission Against Corruption, to ensure impartiality, a former prosecutions chief says.

Support from an eighth of nominating committee members could be a possible threshold for aspirants to enter the chief executive election under universal suffrage, Elsie Leung Oi-sie says.

Apparently targeting former commissioner Timothy Tong Hin-ming for the first time, Lam said that while the Independent Commission Against Corruption was independent of the government, its officers were bound by the rules on civil servants, which included the giving of gifts.

Some 500 supporters of the Occupy Central plan that demands genuine universal suffrage will rally on June 9 to discuss possible problems the movement may face, its founder said yesterday.

Former anti-graft chief Timothy Tong Hin-ming faces investigation by his former subordinates as new evidence suggests he used public money to treat officials from Beijing's liaison office.

Two suspected pranks in the lifts of the legislature building yesterday almost added to a delay in budget debates, which are just starting to be dragged out by radical lawmakers' filibustering.

A filibustering bid on the budget bill by radical lawmakers could be halted by the middle of next month, with Legislative Council chief Jasper Tsang Yok-sing warning that he will act to ensure the legislature runs smoothly.

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor was disappointment yesterday after lawmakers failed to vote on a proposal to donate HK$100 million to the Sichuan earthquake relief effort amid concerns the funds may be misused.

A fierce debate is expected in the Legislative Council today over the use of a HK$100 million donation to help Sichuan earthquake victims, with radical pan-democrats threatening to block approval with a filibuster.

More than 50 disabled people could find themselves without a home or adapting to life in a new hostel by mid-year as tough new care home regulations take hold. And about one third of the city's 78 private care homes for the disabled could face closure in a year's time under new licensing rules, operators warned.

The former lawmaker and urban councillor, who turns 100 on June 2, became emotional when expressing sympathy for striking dock workers and anger with a billionaire, whom she declined to name.

Working out regularly from a young age is the secret of longevity for former urban councillor Elsie Tu, who is allowed to take it rather more easily now as she approaches her 100th birthday.

An official US report on human rights in Hong Kong has drawn attention to local concerns over freedom of assembly and claims that police are turning to aggressive, abusive tactics.

The 26-year-old vice-chairman of the Civic Party's Kowloon East branch was found hanged in Tai Po yesterday, five days after he went missing.

A prominent academic, Horace Chin Wan-kan, has cautioned next year's Occupy Central plan lacks the "power to frighten" Beijing in talks over universal suffrage. Dr Chin, an assistant professor of Chinese language at Lingnan University and a backer of the Hong Kong City-State Autonomy Movement, said the "non-violent" road blockade was the wrong approach to take.

Former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang has weighed in on the universal suffrage issue, taking a conciliatory and pragmatic tone in the heated debate. It was not unreasonable for Beijing to expect Hong Kong's chief executive not to challenge China's one-party rule, she said at a Community College of City University seminar yesterday.

Executive councillor Bernard Chan has urged the government to reveal how much a universal pension scheme would cost taxpayers, a move he says is needed to assist public debate.

Pan-democrats and legal experts have called into question the credibility of a Basic Law heavyweight after she allegedly "twisted facts" regarding people's political rights guaranteed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

As mainland officials rarely comment publicly on the city's issues under the "one country, two systems" principle, the central government's messages to the administration are often delivered behind closed doors. As a result, the media has to rely heavily on the messenger - usually a pro-establishment figure - to shed light on Beijing's views on Hong Kong matters.

Speaking on a television talk show, the head of the Hong Kong delegation to the National People's Congress dismissed a UN Human Rights Committee's report on Hong Kong. The report expressed concern at the "lack of a clear plan to institute universal suffrage" and possible limits on who can stand for election.

Consultation on electoral reform should not begin until most Hongkongers agree that those who confront the central government should not rule the city, a top Beijing official has said.

In an interview with the South China Morning Post, he nevertheless expressed confidence that Hongkongers would not elect a leader who was unable to communicate with Beijing.

It raised concerns that Leung could have breached the Executive Council's confidentiality rule and the principle of Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong, and that the information could have been leaked to investors.

Defeated pan-democratic chief-executive candidate Albert Ho Chun-yan, along with the pro-democracy camp, slammed Beijing for "screening out" from ruling the city those whom they consider as "confronting the central government".

Wang Guangya, director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, says Hongkongers prefer not to see the city being "messed up" when asked about a law academic's proposal to block roads in Central district.

Roy Tang Yun-kwong, the RTHK chief at the centre of a politically charged row, could have seen it coming on his first day on the job. In September 2011, Tang, a veteran civil servant seen as a rising star among administrative officers, was greeted by a black carpet and protesters at the broadcaster's Kowloon Tong offices.

"Compatriots in the Hong Kong and Macau special administrative regions should put emphasis on the country, Hong Kong and Macau's overall interest," Xi told delegates at the closing session of the National People's Congress in Beijing yesterday.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying was addressing how the zero-tolerance policy for expectant mainland mothers in Hong Kong's maternity wards could affect the city's obstetrics industry. Yesterday marked the first time he had done so since the ban came into effect in January.

The latest restriction reflects the tip of the iceberg. A plethora of issues bring mainland and Hong Kong residents into conflict - a problem for governments on both sides of the border.

Former chief secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen yesterday urged the government to launch a consultation by October on arrangements for choosing Hong Kong's next leader by universal suffrage.

The deputy director of the Hong Kong Basic Law Committee and a National People's Congress (NPC) deputy, made the remarks in Beijing after Ming Pao newspaper cited a source saying a primary may be held for the next leadership race.

Stanley Hui Hon-chung, who was at the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing, said an assessment of the impact a proposed third runway might have on the environment will likely be ready by year end.

Yang Kuang said he had been escorted to Beijing airport and put on a flight after being held for over 30 hours by police, who told him he had been detained for "provoking quarrels and making trouble".


Tsang, who defended his budget on RTHK's Letter to Hong Kong, warned that giving out sweeteners as relief measures should not be a permanent feature of the budget.

Yu Zhengsheng, a member of the Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee - and tipped to be the next chairman of the nation's top advisory body - is the first high-level mainland official to address controversies involving Hong Kong.  

National People's Congress heavyweight Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai said no new multiple-entry permits for individual mainland tourists should be issued. Her remarks came after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying refused to confirm or deny rumours that the government was poised to scrap these permits.

Shenzhen authorities will look at ways to limit mainlanders' trips to Hong Kong under the multiple-entry permit scheme amid allegations that it is being abused by parallel-goods traders. A pro-government lawmaker said this yesterday after meeting officials in the neighbouring city.

Hong Kong officials have defended the new two-tin restriction on infant formula exports against criticism by a Basic Law expert in Beijing who said the curb was "inconsistent" with the mini-constitution.

The city's securities watchdog has been asked to investigate property giant Cheung Kong's sale of suites at its Apex Horizon hotel in Kwai Chung. The request by Civic Party legislator Dennis Kwok Wing-hang came as Cheung Kong vice-chairman Victor Li Tzar-kuoi reiterated that the sale completely complied with the law.

Some mainland deputies accused Beijing of failing to improve food safety, while others said they were offended by the tough penalties put in place by Hong Kong.

In a keynote speech to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), outgoing chairman Jia Qinglin called on Hong Kong and Macau delegates to play a greater role in their special administrative regions and the nation's economic, social and political development.

The newly elected member of Beijing's top advisory body said yesterday that anyone who cared about the country and Hong Kong's development could be viewed as loving the nation and the SAR - conditions laid down by Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference spokesman Lu Xinhua on Saturday for the chief executive to be elected by universal suffrage in 2017.

Former constitutional minister Stephen Lam Sui-lung will not replace Elsie Leung Oi-sie as deputy director of the Basic Law Committee as had been rumoured, veteran committee member Maria Tam Wai-chu said.

Hong Kong's embattled chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, received a boost yesterday when his leadership abilities were praised at a press conference ahead of today's CPPCC.

A tighter grip by mainland authorities on parallel traders tops the wish list of Hong Kong deputies to the national legislature and leading political advisory body. Tightening controls on traders, who take everything from baby formula to electronics from Hong Kong for resale across the border, will be among several proposals but forward by local delegates at the National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference plenary meetings.

The government will spend more on public services, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah said, with much of it going to health and job training.

A HK$15 billion boost to the Community Care Fund brought little cheer to the working poor who don't receive government assistance - people like Chen Shao-chong. Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah said the extra money would help close holes in the safety net for the poor.

A controversial plan to occupy the roads in Central in demand of universal suffrage may be rehearsed on July 1, lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip said.

Brave Chan Yung, a new National People's Congress delegate from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said the proposal was one of 20 suggestions to be made at next month's NPC and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference plenary meeting.

In a rare admission, a top Beijing representative has acknowledged the friction between Hong Kong residents and mainlanders. But Zhang Xiaoming, who took over as head of the central government's liaison office in December, said there were only occasional conflicts and they did not reflect the developing relationship between the two sides.

National legislature chief Wu Bangguo praised the economic and social achievements of Macau during his first official visit to the city yesterday. Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, will today officiate at a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the promulgation of the Basic Law in Macau.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's government is more popular with the public than the picture that is painted in certain sections of the media, a top Beijing representative says. Zhang Xiaoming, who succeeded Peng Qinghua as head of the central government's liaison office in December, also called on people not to criticise but to help the government solve Hong Kong's problems.

A law professor's plan to get people to occupy the streets in Central to pressure Beijing into keeping its promise of universal suffrage for Hong Kong is "worth supporting", the Democratic Party says. The party is the first political group in the pro-democracy camp to formally study Dr Benny Tai Yiu-ting's plan, after about 20 members, including chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing and lawmaker Albert Ho Chun-yan, met him last night.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has demanded the retraction of a newspaper article which he claims accuses him of having links with triads. His lawyers sent a letter to the chief editor of the Hong Kong Economic Journal last Friday.

The Lion City unveiled ambitious plans yesterday to open its doors to hundreds of thousands of expatriate workers. It was inspired by concerns about the falling birth rate and ageing population, which mirror those in Hong Kong.

With friends like these, who needs enemies? That might well have been the question on the lips of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying yesterday as he issued a denial of allegations by a former supporter that he lied over illegal structures at his homes on The Peak.

Lew Mon-hung, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, also said Leung broke his promise to appoint him as an executive councillor and nominate him as the sole candidate to a top post of a national advisory body.

Controversial issues like national security legislation, political reform and the housing crisis could all be put up for public vote under a joint project by two universities.