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  • Dec 26, 2014
  • Updated: 1:46am

Public Eye

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 August, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 August, 2009, 12:00am

Labour chief should get his job done

Do you remember Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's campaign pledge? 'I'll get the job done,' he promised. Well, the 500 McDonald's delivery workers are certainly getting the job done. They've been risking life and limb rushing hot meals to your doorstep. This new service has fattened not only your waistline but also company profits. The McDonald's bosses are 'lovin' it!' - so much that they've even skimmed off what little fat the workers themselves have. The fat cats have forced the workers to sign self-employment contracts. This means no more company benefits, such as paid leave, sick pay, medical insurance and even work-injury compensation. Labour secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, who always seems confused about how exactly he should get his job done, had these reassuring words for the workers: 'We need to examine the situation.' He says it's not always clear-cut if someone is self-employed or not. See what we mean about the labour secretary being confused about his job? Here's a little advice, Mr Cheung: make it clear-cut. At least then you can say you got part of your job done, however tiny that may be.

Why the double standards, McDonald's?

Public Eye must admit we're confused, too. McDonald's websites in both the US and Britain boast of fantastic staff benefits. So why the double standards here? A case of exploitation? Maybe the fat cats at McDonald's can enlighten us. We're waitin'!

A heritage policy for shoppers

Public Eye also has a question for the government protectors of Hong Kong's heritage: do you work under the 'out with the old, in with the new' principle when preserving our historical sites? If yes, then you must be happy with the shiny new heritage building in Tsim Sha Tsui. You know the one, the old marine police headquarters, which you sold to the highest bidder in the name of preservation. The building is 120 years old but you wouldn't know it looking at the promotional blurb. You must congratulate yourselves for letting the developer make it look brand new. The hill which was so much a part of the building's history has been totally razed. The century-old trees are gone. Nothing remains of the old-world ambience. The developer's promotional blurb talks of a 'premier shopping heritage attraction'. Please, protectors of our heritage, tell us what that means. The blurb boasts of an 'uptrend shopping arcade' with the world's top name-brand stores. Hong Kong's wealthy tai-tais, who constantly cruise 'uptrend' malls for bargains, must be thrilled they now have a new place to flaunt their Manolos and Gucci gear. Maybe they'll even take a moment to soak in the heritage. All those name-brand junkies from Japan must be excited, too. They can now do high-end shopping and high tea at a place other than The Peninsula. They might even snap a few pictures of the historic building to show friends how new it looks. The shoeshiners in Central, who police recently shooed away, must be scratching their heads. They're part of Hong Kong's heritage, too, yet they were threatened with arrest. Maybe they'll be allowed to shine shoes at the new heritage mall. But don't go into the Tiffany's store there. Its website says it only sells 'breathtaking jewellery, so chic and glamorous'. The shoeshiners might be able to afford bread at the 'boutique' heritage hotel. If not, should they eat cake instead? Please tell us, protectors of our heritage.

Don't ask the recession experts, flip a coin

You've heard the saying 'it ain't over till it's over'. Well, is it over? Are we done with the recession? Remember how, not too long ago, experts were tripping over each other to warn that the worst was yet to come. It never came. Now they're taking their cue from the likes of media mogul Rupert Murdoch and US President Barack Obama to say the worst is over. All except Cathay's chairman, Christopher Pratt, who's flying in the opposite direction. 'The worst may not be over,' he moaned last week. Well, here's Public Eye's expert opinion on the experts: 'Bah, humbug!'

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