Donald Tsang

Public Eye

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 July, 2009, 12:00am

Collect wine and maybe collect the top job

Donald Tsang Yam-kuen must be privately peeved. He's got three more years as the man who calls the shots (well, some of the shots; the real ones are called in Beijing) and his deputy's backers are already turning him into a lame duck. First casino tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun, then outgoing Macau Governor Edmund Ho Hau-wah. Both are bucking for Henry Tang Ying-yen as Hong Kong's next chief executive. Do they know something we don't? Are our mainland bosses already laying the groundwork to anoint our next leader? Stanley Ho shooting off his mouth is one thing. He always does that. The casino boss is even offering 10-1 odds that Mr Tang will be the anointed one. It's not hard to understand why he believes Mr Tang is well qualified. Both men have a lot in common. Aside from being tycoons, they both have wine collections. But the Macau leader also shooting off his mouth? Doesn't diplomatic decorum require the Hong Kong and Macau leaders to keep off each other's turf? The man who's got the most to lose in all this is executive councillor Leung Chun-ying. He's dropped so many hints he too wants to be our next leader that even Mr Tang must have figured this out by now. But Mr Leung needs to make some serious moves if he wants to be the front runner. For starters, he needs to start a wine collection.

Never give a straight answer

Public Eye must say we are surprised. Surely, we thought, bureaucrat turned legislator Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee possesses enough political savvy to know what it takes to be the chief executive. But it seems not. She faulted Henry Tang for being good at stalling and never answering the tough questions in Legco. But doesn't that alone amply qualify him to be our next leader?

Tourism bureaucrats obliterate history

If you have the time, stand at the Kowloon Star Ferry bus terminus and ask yourself this: what pressing need made our overpaid officials decide to obliterate this piece of Hong Kong's history anyway? At least with the Hong Kong Star Ferry pier there was the excuse of a new road. But what town-planning objective did our bureaucrats have in mind when they ruled we must replace real history with a fake piazza? Did they simply scratch their heads and wonder: 'Now, what can we do with the Tsim Sha Tsui bus terminus?' Is that why they then spent big bucks of your money to 'consult' the public? The tourism trade wants a piazza, our bureaucrats discovered. Public Eye could have told them that without having to 'consult' anybody. Surely they know how the tourism folks love to fill places with fume-belching coaches while visitors hurriedly snap pictures of themselves with the obligatory victory hand signs. Here's a question: what tourism industry in the world aside from ours would advocate ripping out history? But our tourism bureaucrats are ecstatic. They say the people want the piazza. What people? When they 'consulted' the public, did they ask this: 'Would you mind awfully if there was no piazza?' Why did they ask the people in the first place? Did the people ask to be asked?

You can practise your rights ... sort of

When is it wrong to do the right thing? Maybe Legco president Tsang Yok-sing can tell us. He says lawmakers have a right to stage protests in the chamber. But whenever 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung and his allies behave like clowns, he throws them out. Maybe it's wrong to practise one's rights. Is Public Eye making any sense here?

Why can't we fire our robots?

Robots are being fired in recession-hit Japan, according to The New York Times. What a great way to save money. Can we please do the same thing here with our bureaucrats? If the Japanese can fire their robots why can't Hong Kong? We have an even more compelling reason. Robots are not expensive to run in Japan. Ours cost an arm and a leg.