Mak Chai-kwong

Public Eye

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 July, 2012, 12:00am


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Development minister needs to fall on his sword

Public Eye doesn't care if he jumps or is pushed. Either way, Mak Chai-kwong must go. He simply has no credibility left to continue as our development minister. He scammed the system so taxpayers ended up buying his flat for him. He bought a flat in 1986. So did his college buddy Tsang King-man - now a senior Highways Department official - a floor above his. They didn't live in their own flats. They rented each other's. Why? To qualify for government rent allowance, which they would otherwise be ineligible for. This way they could use each other's rent - the people's money - to pay their mortgages. Documents show they even authorised each other to sell their flats - which they later did at a profit - suggesting both had stakes in both flats. Mak insists the scam was not premeditated. He must take us all for fools. He also argues it wasn't against the rules in those days for civil servants to rent each other's flats to get rent allowance. But that didn't make it morally right. Clear out your desk, Mr Mak. Do the right thing.

Rebates for the rich, and N-nothing for the working poor

So who exactly is squeaky clean in our new government team? Hardly anyone, it seems. It's no longer a question of who among our top officials has an illegal structure. It's who doesn't. Food and Health minister Dr Ko Wing-man bought two luxury flats, removed the separating wall without proper permission, and turned them into one super luxury flat. But when Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah gave property-rates rebates to 'spread the wealth', Ko kept quiet about his enlarged flat. Why? So he could collect rebates for two flats. What a nice scam. Pity all those families living in subdivided slum flats couldn't do the same thing. Tsang didn't 'spread the wealth' to them. They're called the N-nothings, who didn't get rebates of any kind. In Tsang's logic, 'spreading the wealth' means giving tycoons like Li Ka-shing a HK$6,000 government handout.

Don't be fooled by saintly rhetoric from C.Y.'s sidekick

There he goes again with his saint-like talk about building public housing for the needy. Barry Cheung Chun-yuen did it again on TV over the weekend. But don't be fooled by the fake halo. Cheung - Chief Executive Leung Chung-ying's top sidekick - is no saint. He speaks with a forked tongue. He now says land from Urban Renewal Authority redevelopments should be used partly for subsidised flats. This is the man who's headed the authority for years. The record will show that far from building affordable flats, he kicked residents out from old buildings and used the prime sites for luxury flats. That fake halo only appeared after he ran Leung's election campaign and was rewarded with an Executive Council seat. Here's our advice to Leung: you're already in deep poop. Order your fork-tongued sidekick to zip it.

Jockey Club bigwigs should have to camp at building site

If Public Eye could use the foulest, most obscene, word against the Jockey Club's wrecking of the Central Police Station heritage complex we would. But, of course, we're not allowed. From 8.30am to 5.30pm non-stop last Saturday those monstrous toothpick-like machines pounded piercingly away at what was left of the historic Victoria Prison. Yes, non-stop, except for a brief lunch-hour reprieve, on a Saturday when hard-working Hongkongers lucky enough to have a five-day week were trying to rest. The ear-splitting demolition noise has gone on for months. It's sickening enough when property tycoons make area residents suffer needlessly by destroying even fairly new buildings for taller ones just to maximise profits. But it's doubly sickening when the Jockey Club - which the government has asked to take charge of the heritage complex - does it just to satisfy the egos of its overpaid architects. No one wanted the heritage site to be tampered with except the Jockey Club. Its top officials should be made to suffer alongside area residents by camping outside the construction site.