Elite class urges unity in HK - from behind barricades
Two Hong Kongs were on display on Sunday, the 15th anniversary of the handover, their contrasts starkly captured frame by frame on live TV. There was the one with the barricades that kept out the ordinary people. And there was the one outside the barricades, where the people took to the streets in the tens of thousands. In the barricaded Hong Kong, the small-circle elite class gathered at celebratory functions to urge unity in our society. Their plea drew derision from the masses outside the barricades, who marched to mock them. The symbol of the day was not a people united by a common purpose but divided by barricades. Where were the ordinary people on the morning of that day when the elite class, led by the nation's president, gathered in Golden Bauhinia Square to celebrate the anniversary? They were kept outside the barricades. Where were the ordinary people when the elite class moved on to the adjoining convention centre for the inauguration of new leader Leung Chun-ying and his team? The barricades kept them out. US presidents are sworn in outdoors at the Congress building, followed by a parade during which the new president, waving to the people, walks at least part of the way to the White House. The intended symbol is unity. The day after the inauguration, Leung did walkabouts to prove his grass-roots credentials. But that's hardly the same. How can you expect unity when you erect barricades to keep the people out of events that are supposed to unify?
Why police said only 63,000
Who do you believe? Organisers say 400,000 protesters turned up for Sunday's march. One university pollster said at most 112,000 attended. Another said 70,000. And the police? Well, the police said just 63,000. That's lower even than the 85,000 they gave for the June 4 candle-light vigil. Go ahead, scratch your heads. But as Public Eye has cautioned before, don't take them too seriously. The last thing the police want is to confirm Hongkongers are angry. It doesn't do the government any good. Just trust your own eyes. Look at the images on TV and in the newspapers. Public Eye was on a walkway looking down. We could see a mass of people stretching from Causeway Bay to Admiralty.
Blame the police commissioner
If you still needed proof Police Commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung is a menace to society and to our freedoms, you got it last week. Detaining a reporter who shouted a question from the designated media area at President Hu Jintao was a sickening stifling of press freedom. But don't blame the officer who manhandled the reporter. His heavy-handedness was just a reflection of the thuggish culture our force has adopted under Tsang. Forget about firing the officer. It's the commissioner who has to go.
More like a nightmare team
What the ****! That was Public Eye's reaction when C.Y. Leung unveiled his so-called dream team of top ministers. Dream team? Looks more like a recurring nightmare. Leung promised change with stability. But what he's given us is an illusion of change. Where's the change when most of the top bureaucrats are either keeping their jobs or simply swapping with each other? These overpaid bureaucrats know as much about change as they know about what it's like outside their chauffeured cars. John Tsang Chun-wah already had five years as financial secretary. During that time he got his budget forecast wrong every year, ending up with huge surpluses. But his idea of fixing the wealth gap was to make sure tycoon Li Ka-shing got the same HK$6,000 handout as the old lady scavenging cardboard boxes for a living. And now he's got another five years to help the poor. God help us all.