Public Eye

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 May, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 May, 2010, 12:00am

A government that listens - only if people die

Our leader Donald Tsang Yam-kuen says the government needs to do some 'serious reflection' on how it can prevent future deadly attacks by mental patients. Well, Public Eye did some 'serious reflection' too. Ours lasted 10 seconds. It was plenty enough time to come up with answers. Last Saturday's Kwai Chung attack, which left two dead, was not the first. There have been others. Hong Kong has 150,000 mental patients. That's over 2 per cent of our population. Overcrowding, pollution, noise, low pay, high housing costs - they're stressing us out. People are going crazy. But get this. The government spent just HK$30 million last year for mental patients. That's a fraction of what Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah doled out to even wealthy homeowners as part of his 'sharing the wealth' budget. This year's spending on the mentally ill will rise to a still paltry HK$100 million. Remember the To Kwa Wan building collapse, which killed four people? And the fireman who died due to outdated equipment? And the twenty-something generation that rose up in anger? And the fury over unscrupulous property developers? Each time it took death or public anger for the government to listen. This is not a government for the people. This is a government after the fact.

Will Henderson Land ever explain?

What's Henderson Land hiding? It's been asked five times by the government to explain the funny business over the sale of 24 luxury flats in Conduit Road to mysterious buyers. And five times it refused to give straight answers. This is the building where Henderson skipped so many floor numbers to lure rich buyers willing to pay for lucky numbers that the top floor of the 40-storey building became the 88th floor. This is also the building where a flat sold for a world-record HK$439 million. Well, it's been months but none of the 24 sales have actually been completed. Were the flats really sold? Or was there monkey business to drive up prices? Five government letters, but still no answers. Will there be a sixth and a seventh and eighth? If you fail to pay a parking fine, for example, do you think you'll get five gentle reminders? Or will you be read the riot act? So how come the government is being so nice to property developers? But you already know the answer to that, don't you?

So who's lying and who's not?

Double-cross. Deceit. Skullduggery. You'll find it all and more in 'A Tale of Two Tsangs'. Sex is the only thing missing in this tale of high political drama, but what the heck, sex isn't everything. Wait till you hear who the central characters are. Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and Legislative Council president Tsang Yok-sing. No, no, wait, don't judge a tale by its central characters. 'A Tale of Two Tsangs' really is an intriguing tale about double-cross, deceit, skullduggery and no sex. It's got nail-biting stuff about who said what to whom and who should vote and who should not. It starts with democracy legislators saying Tsang the Legco president told them that Tsang the chief executive told him to abandon his neutrality as Legco chief to vote for the government's political reform package. An angry Tsang the chief executive said he never said what Tsang the Legco president said he said. That's where the double-cross, deceit and skullduggery come in. Tsang the Legco president said he didn't say exactly what the democrats said he said. But he won't say what exactly he said. He accused the democrats of double-cross by publicising a private meeting between them. But the democrats say he said exactly what they said he had said. They now say either Tsang the Legco president or Tsang the chief executive is lying. So who's lying and who's not? Why won't Tsang the chief executive say if he'll vote in this Sunday's by-elections? And why is there no sex in this story? No one's saying.