Governor could have done more for environment

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 June, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 June, 1997, 12:00am

A pity, isn't it, that part of the legacy of the out-going administration is an environment that remains one of the filthiest among the sophisticated cities of the world? Notwithstanding the difficulties inherent in dealing with atmospheric pollution, it is safe to say absolutely nothing has been done on a wholesale scale to clean up four waters, our non-gazetted beaches and parts of our countryside which remain an utter disgrace.

In common with all his predecessors, Chris Patten's apparent complacency in this regard is unremarkable.

He is, after all, merely following a time-honoured tradition.

He has, however, been in the unique position of bringing his own soap-box with him and it has been a salient feature of the rhetoric emanating from it that a sense of commitment to really tackle the environment has never surfaced among the tiresome ramblings for a better Hong Kong. And this is despite a growing public disquiet at the current state of play.

It really is not good enough that the only temporary respite is provided by posses of civic-minded students having their photos taken besides piles of rubbish collected from countless blackspots.

They deserve our thanks, but their pride in a job worth doing seems sadly misplaced.

And so, Mr Patten, as the Britannia picks its way gingerly through the acres of debris and sewage lapping these shores, you might like to cast an eye around you at the receding vista of our beautiful hills and bays, and reflect that you could have championed some other equally worthwhile cause for our future well-being.