Public Eye

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 November, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 November, 2009, 12:00am

To serve and protect ... and lunch

Public Eye can't figure out the public outrage over the 27 marine police officers who organised a farewell meal for two departing colleagues. They were just having their lunch, for goodness' sake. Everyone is entitled to a lunch hour. OK, theirs lasted two hours on a nice getaway island. But they did spend 15 minutes first doing anti-smuggling work. Anyone who works so hard for so long deserves a two-hour lunch break. Besides, they were having a sumptuous seafood feast. You try cracking lobster and crab shells in a hurry. It simply can't be done. It takes time. So what if they had their feast on Po Toi Island while on duty? The sun was out, the island is scenic and it has the finest seafood. We all want the best for our selfless crime-fighters. And so what if they went there on a HK$10 million police launch? What did you expect them to do? Swim? They're only marine police officers. Forget about whether the taxpayer covered the cost of the lunch outing. Taxpayers have a duty to make sure officers have proper transport. Why else do you think we pay for our officials to ride in chauffeured cars to fancy lunches? And never mind that the police officers were downing alcohol while on duty. Our police officers can't shoot straight anyway, so what difference does it make?

When the numbers don't add up

Do our bureaucrats really understand the people? Development secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor thinks they do. She's convinced that what peeved the people about the absurd floor numbering of a luxury Mid-Levels building was that the flats have an actual floor number and a made-up lucky number. Actually, Ms Lam, you're wrong. That's not what peeved the people. They don't give a stuff about the floor numbering in itself. Made-up, lucky floor numbers aimed solely at driving up prices don't affect them, since they can't afford such nonsensical extravagance anyway. What they're really peeved about are the tycoons, their greed, their unsavoury sales tactics and the fact that ordinary people can't afford decent homes anymore. That's what they're really peeved about. They blew their top over the ridiculous floor numbering simply because they reached a point where they felt they'd had enough.

A game of Monopoly on the waterfront

Harbour protectionists fighting the government's plan to put two buildings on the Admiralty waterfront are going about it the wrong way. They need to learn from the tycoons how to play what Public Eye calls the 'wall effect' game. The Sun Hung Kai tycoons played a deft hand in March. Anxious to protect the view of their prized Two IFC, they put on the straightest of faces to declare they cared about the 'wall effect'. They protested that the government's plan to put two medium-rise blocks smack in front of the building would create a 'wall effect'. That's right, the owners of Hong Kong's tallest building, who are now building an even taller one across the harbour - the International Commerce Centre - actually worry about air flows. Impressed bureaucrats moved the two buildings to Admiralty, smack in front of Citic Tower. The tycoons who own Citic Tower haven't caught on to the game yet. The harbour protectionists need to prod them. Get the Citic Tower tycoons to say they, too, care about the 'wall effect'. Bureaucrats care when tycoons care. Chances are they'll move the buildings again to yet another location, just like playing Monopoly. Hong Kong is good at playing Monopoly. The tycoons virtually invented it.

Trust me, I'm a doctor

Our doctors are already demanding they be allowed to charge whatever they wish to give you a swine flu jab. Money before morals. It raises a scary question: how much do you trust your doctor? Each vaccine bottle contains 10 shots, which must be used within seven days once opened. Will our money-mad doctors discard expired portions, or will they still use them on you to cut losses? How will you know?