Public Eye

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 June, 2009, 12:00am

Double standards on free speech

Let's first get one thing straight - Public Eye has no quarrel with Danish sculptor Jens Galschiot (pictured). If we were calling the shots we would not have denied him entry into Hong Kong for last Sunday's Tiananmen remembrance march. But have any of you heard of American shock jock Michael Savage? Public Eye loves listening to his radio show The Savage Nation. He shocks, he insults, he ridicules and he attacks. It's nasty stuff, but who says free speech must always be nice? Well, he's on Britain's blacklist. The country that lectures others on free speech won't let him in. Here's what British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said of her right to ban Savage: 'Coming to this country is a privilege. If you can't live by the standards and the values that we live by, we should exclude you from this country.' So how come when the Brits ban people, or when America throws out 1970s pop idol Cat Stevens just because he now has a Muslim name it's OK, but when Hong Kong rejects someone it's a human rights violation? Just last year European Union consular chiefs dressed down Hong Kong security secretary Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong for banning activists, including Galschiot. Yet Britain, an EU member, has now said on the record it can ban whoever it wants. Double standards? You betcha. You may argue Galschiot the sculptor is different from Savage the shock jock. That's bull poop. They're both artists. And Savage is just a radio host for goodness sake, not a terrorist. If you don't like what he says, don't listen.

Putting profits before the environment

So, you think Wall Street greed is bad. We have something far worse right here in Hong Kong. Public Eye is talking about our property tycoons. You would have thought that after making their fortunes in this town they would want to express their gratitude by giving back to society. But no, they still want to squeeze every dime they can. They've refused to do the right thing by helping to save our planet which, by the way, is the same planet they and their children live on. They say they'll continue to cram our city with yet more monster buildings unless the government makes it worth their while to build environmentally friendly ones instead. To put it bluntly, they want the government to allow them extra floor space for free so they can make more money from more flats in exchange for building environmentally friendly shoebox homes. Saving our planet? Forget it. Nothing comes before profits.

A field day for cross-dressers

Let's put a quick stop to all this nonsense talk about a female-only MTR carriage. For starters, it'll be a magnet for cross-dressers. Have proponents of this silly idea ever thought of that? And the fact that not all gropers are men? Just think what can happen in a train full of females with a lusty lesbian on the loose. Besides, who exactly qualifies to ride in this special carriage? Only the young, pretty females who feel they're attractive enough to be groped or can grannies enter, too? And if they do, aren't you just going to snigger and crack a few bad jokes?

Dining at the expense of neighbours

Alfresco dining? Public Eye pooh-poohed the idea last week. We told you how Hong Kong's dirty air, sauna-like summers, noise and narrow streets make outdoor eating a joke. So why are restaurant owners pushing for it? Go ask Paolo Pong Kin-yee. He's the co-owner of several eateries, including the Pawn, which used to shoo away little old ladies using its rooftop which is supposed to be public open space. Yet he wants to use our footpaths to boost his profits. He talks gushingly of ambience and a food paradise. He makes no mention that ordinary folk who can't afford his prices live above restaurants in crowded Hong Kong. He cares little that noisy outdoor dining robs their sleep, ruins their lives and brings rodents to their homes. Mr Pong is too busy appreciating the ring of his cash registers.