Public Eye

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 September, 2009, 12:00am

Don't go out to play without your ID

Public Eye believes all seven-year-olds in Hong Kong should carry some form of ID with them at all times. There are many good reasons for this. For example, if a bunch of them decided to boogie the night away, they could march into a Lan Kwai Fong bar, demand to buy a milkshake to share, and flash their birth certificates to prove they're of legal age to do so. If, on their way home they are stopped and searched by the police for behaving like hooligans who've had too much milkshake, they can whip out their identification to prove they're not illegal immigrants. But the most important reason for seven-year-olds to always have identification is when they get whacked in the eye with a badminton racket and require hospital treatment. That happened to a seven-year-old last week who was not carrying anything. Caritas Medical Centre refused treatment. And so it should. That'll teach him for not carrying identification at all times. So let that be a lesson to all you seven-year-olds: don't leave home without some form of ID.

Tranquillity, what tranquillity?

Public Eye is not sure if heaven is a tranquil place but we know for a fact Hong Kong is not. Someone ought to explain that to Father Benedict Lam Cho-ming. He seems to have confused heaven with Hong Kong. Lam is lamenting the construction noise from the MTR's South Island Line, which he says will disturb the tranquillity of the Holy Spirit Seminary of which he is the rector. He says the seminary's residents, including students preparing for ordination, require tranquillity. Public Eye would like to say this to Lam: get real. There is no tranquillity in Hong Kong. There may be such a thing as heaven on earth but not here. Hong Kong is hell. If you exorcised it, what comes out won't be the devil. It'll be jackhammers. Lam could try praying for tranquillity but we can tell him right now it'll be a waste of time. Even God is powerless against Hong Kong's piledrivers.

Just a big act for Car-free Day

Performers put on the greatest show on earth yesterday right here in Hong Kong. There was a cast of dozens - civil servants led by the chief executive. They acted out a single-act script. They all rode public transport to observe World Car-free Day. When the show was over Public Eye did not applaud. We sniggered. We knew that they'll be back to their cars today. Count from the government headquarters on any given weekday how many of them ride in their cars on the short hop to Central for lunch. We have. You'll be amazed. Their boots are not made for walking; they're made for chauffeur-driven cars.

A smart bureaucrat knows when to keep quiet

Working diligently at his desk five days a week at the Labour Department is Li Chi-leung. OK, so you've never heard of him but he deserves every cent of the iron-rice-bowl salary the public pays him. He puts his heart and soul into being a bureaucrat. When he's not doing that, he's also the Labour Department's chief occupational safety officer. How well he functions in that role Public Eye can't really say. All we can say is 14 construction workers have died from accidents so far this year. Li was at his bureaucratic best last week. In the fine tradition of Hong Kong bureaucracy, he refused to reveal public information. Yes, he told a radio audience, the contractor building the International Commerce Centre where six workers died, Sanfield (Management), had been prosecuted before for safety violations. But no, you can't have details. Consider this. Prosecutions are a matter of public record. And Sanfield is owned by Sun Hung Kai Properties, the developer of the ICC. Is Li a bureaucrat well-schooled in saying 'no comment' or is he also a smart bureaucrat who knows to keep his mouth shut when it involves one of Hong Kong's most powerful property developers?


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