Public Eye | South China Morning Post
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  • Mar 31, 2015
  • Updated: 6:32pm

Public Eye

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 October, 2009, 12:00am

Light-bulbs scandal the height of silliness

Here's a Watergate-type question: did he or did he not know his son's father-in-law was in the light-bulb business and if he knew, when did he know? Here's a Public Eye-type answer: that's a stupid question. Of course Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen knew his son's wife's father sold light bulbs. He knew it when his son first started romancing the girl. All fathers want to know what their son's girlfriend's dad does for a living. Another Watergate-type question: if he knew, why did he promote the use of energy-saving light bulbs, which could enrich the girl's dad? Here's a Clinton-like answer: it's the environment, stupid. Tsang wants to help save the environment. Richard Nixon famously said he was 'no crook'. But he was. He secretly bugged his opponents. The light-bulb scandal showed Tsang is politically insensitive. But does that make him a crook? Does anyone really believe Tsang's true motive was to enrich his son's in-laws? Public Eye has never shied from taking the chief executive to task, but this is a silly scandal. People are comparing Tsang to Taiwan's corrupt former president Chen Shui-bian. Former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang wants him to apologise. Legco wants to interrogate him like a criminal. The Civic Party scaled the height of absurdity by proposing that the cash coupons intended for energy-saving bulbs should now be used for other energy-saving products instead. Maybe we should all boycott energy-saving light bulbs to teach Tsang a lesson. That should satisfy our misguided moral outrage. To hell with saving the environment.

Let evil be in the eye of the beholder

Donald Tsang used the word 'evil' last week. He urged the people not to consider the big business tycoons as evil. Then came the revelation that property developers had bilked HK$53 billion from homebuyers. This is how they did it: the government gave them free floor area to make their buildings environmentally-friendly with balconies and such. The developers gleefully accepted. Then, they charged homebuyers for what the government gave them for free. Maybe before Tsang urges the people not to treat the tycoons as evil he should first urge the tycoons not to sucker the people.

Why Auntie Ah Chun deserves a medal

Our Auntie Ah Chun is waiting for her Grand Bauhinia Medal. Public Eye gently told her not to bother. But that only confused her. Former Monetary Authority chief Joseph Yam Chi-kwong got one she noted, her bony finger pointing to the newspaper article. We explained Yam was different. Until recently he bagged HK$10 million a year as the world's highest-paid banker. Anyone smart enough to squeeze that much money out of taxpayers for so many years deserves a medal. Undeterred, she again focused her failing eyesight on the article and ran her finger along the name of Henry Tang Ying-yen, another medal winner. It took some time to make her understand that he, too, was different. He gave up his chief secretary's car on car-free day and took a taxi to work. Anyone who makes such a huge sacrifice to save the environment deserves a medal. Besides, he has a cellar full of pricey fine wines. Auntie Ah Chun fell silent, trying to figure out what made a taxi different from a car on car-free day, and how many zeros there were in HK$10 million. She knew her old-age allowance only had three figures in total. After many minutes of deep thought she asked if she could get a medal for having been a model citizen who worked hard all her life but did not have a chauffeured car, could not afford a taxi, had only two HK$12 bottles of cooking wine in her housing estate kitchen and didn't know what HK$10 million was. We lied and said yes to keep her medal dream alive. She flashed a toothless grin.


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