Tanka P Chungbang, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong (SCMP letters 14 July 2011)
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Incoming leader told to think twice about salary increases as he sits down to 'reconciliation dinner' with Beijing loyalists
Colleen Lee and Ada Lee
May 30, 2012
Chief executive-elect Leung Chun-ying said last night he would consider requests from pro-establishment lawmakers to freeze the salaries of his team of political appointees.
The calls came as he hosted what was dubbed a "reconciliation dinner" with the Beijing-loyalist camp, held at the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce in Central, in return for a dinner lawmakers gave him last month.
Tam Yiu-chung, chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, New People's Party chairwoman Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee and lawmakers from the Professional Forum urged Leung to think twice about adopting a proposal put forward by the current government to raise ministers' salaries 8.1 per cent on 2002 levels.
Ip, who is a former security minister, said: "It is an honour to serve as a top official. It should not be measured only in monetary terms."
"The suggestion is very good. I'll seriously consider the idea," said Leung, who picked up the bill of HK$11,332 for last night's dinner.
Of the 36 Beijing-loyalist lawmakers on the guest list, 26 attended the dinner, five more than last time.
The guests also included Liberal Party chairwoman Miriam Lau Kin-yee, who cast a blank vote in the chief executive election in March, and allies of defeated candidate Henry Tang Ying-yen, including Lam Tai-fai of the industrial (second) sector. Lau was absent from last month's dinner and was photographed dining at a fast food restaurant instead.
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