Paul Chan

Public Eye

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 11:11pm


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Having lost all moral authority, Chan simply has to clear out

How can Paul Chan Mo-po possibly keep his job as development secretary? He has already lost all credibility. First he tells us he knew nothing about illegally subdivided flats that he and his wife had a stake in. When official documents showed otherwise, Chan hid from the public. When more dirt emerged linking him to the illegally partitioned flats he surfaced to again deny wrongdoing. He even passed the buck to his wife, saying she knew more about the matter than he. When the dirt finally hit the fan he issued a midnight statement confessing he had indeed known about partitioning in one of the flats. The more he explains, the more it looks like a cover-up. Will officials like Chan ever learn that once a skeleton is exposed it's best to open the cupboard wide. Chan should know doing otherwise will only result in the bodies being dug up bone by bone. It happened to his short-lived predecessor, Mak Chai-kwong. Subdivided flats have been linked to fatal fires. Many are owned by greedy landlords who divide slum flats into cubicles to exploit the poor. As development secretary, Chan has a key role in ridding Hong Kong of this shame. How can he now have the moral authority to condemn the squalid cubicles? Mak quit after 12 days when the ICAC arrested him for cheating on government rent allowances. It's time for Chan to clear out his desk, too.

Communication over pellet spill was utterly pitiful

Let's get this straight. Hundreds of tonnes of plastic pellets fall into the sea from a cargo ship during a typhoon. They pollute our beaches, contaminate fish farms. Environmentalists sound the alarm. Volunteers do their best to clear the shorelines. But the government says nothing to reassure the public. When all hell breaks loose, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor makes a great show of calling an emergency meeting of top officials. She admits that 'in this day and age' when people are concerned about the environment, the government should have alerted the public. And you wonder why Public Eye always says our overpaid bureaucrats live in la-la land.

Despite what bureaucrats say, typhoons don't cause filthy air

Air today, gone tomorrow. Except that it hasn't really gone. We're still breathing it in. Everyone raised hell last week simply because our already filthy air got even filthier. Now that it's returned to the 'normal' filthy, our overpaid bureaucrats are hoping people will forget last week's shame. But Public Eye won't let that happen. The filthy haze that covered our city was a graphic reminder of our government's failure to protect public health. Our bureaucrats blamed it on nearby typhoons. But typhoons don't cause filthy air. Polluting buses, cars and power stations do. Typhoons just expose the filth that is already in our air to begin with. Former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa said in 1999 that our air would be as clean as that in London and New York by 2005. It is now 2012. Our bureaucrats are among the world's highest-paid. And this is what we get. Go on, raise more hell.

Why let officials dictate city's moral standards?

What's with sex and our city, anyway? Prostitutes openly ply their trade in our red-light-district bars. Hongkongers stream by the thousands across the border to buy freely available sexual pleasures. But the authorities say we can't have an adult exhibition featuring girlie underwear and sex toys. The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre has once again shut the door to the Asia Adult Expo. The centre is run by the Trade Development Council - a statutory body partly overseen by government officials. Who gave these overpaid, balding men in grey suits the right to set our moral standards? Taiwan, Macau and mainland China have already welcomed the adult expo. If grown men want to gawk at sexy lingerie or buy sex toys, it's their business.