Public Eye

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 June, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 June, 2010, 12:00am

Nothing entertaining about seizure of statues

Now we all know why so many youthful protesters ended up dead in the Tiananmen crackdown 21 years ago. They didn't have a permit to entertain. Had they applied for an entertainment licence to hold their democracy rally they might be alive today. Democracy and entertainment are the same. That's why it was so entertaining to see our top officials ride an open-top campaign bus to promote the government's democracy proposals. It was likewise entertaining to see the police seize two Goddess of Democracy statues because those who placed them in Times Square didn't have an entertainment permit. Hong Kong people love to be entertained. The police chief can satisfy this thirst by telling us why he helpfully allowed the placing of the two statues before seizing them. And our chief executive can tell us if the police acted on his or Beijing's orders or on its own. We would love to know why our leaders behaved in a way that is more typical of a totalitarian state than a free society, yet claim they support democratic freedoms. So, please entertain us.

Bureaucrats dislike public part of transport

Public Eye rode the tram last Friday with Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan. Yes, the humble but environmentally friendly tram. After we parted ways in Central, Public Eye bumped into Liberal Party chairwoman Miriam Lau Kin-yee on the MTR. Both Ho and Lau are lawyers, legislators and political party chiefs. They are no less busy than our overpaid bureaucrats. So how come Public Eye has never seen any of our senior officials riding public transport? How come the only time we ever see them in public is when they're inside their chauffeured, air-polluting, taxpayer-financed cars? We've even seen officials using their cars for the short hop from Central to lunch appointments in Admiralty. Don't they know that a tram could get them there just as easily for only HK$2? But that would put them among the common people and our top officials are not common people, are they?

Six cars, six officials - no car pool in sight

What do these six car numbers have in common: AM 37, AM 199, AM 72, AM 59, AM 130 and AM 1048? Yes, they're all government cars, but what else? The chauffeurs of these cars can be seen every weekday morning heading up to the swanky Jardine's Lookout area to pick up their bosses for work. Six cars, six government officials, one in each even though they all live in the same area, work in Central, and leave around the same time. Bus number 511 also goes from the same area to Central. It, too, is air-conditioned and has a driver. Or there is something called car-pooling. This saves taxpayers' money and cuts down on air pollution. But it would require the six officials to squeeze into two cars - three in each. If that's a bit tight two could share a car. That would still cut down their car use by half. But two to a car could still be too cramped. They need space to stretch. They are government officials, after all.

Minister should be on top of racism problem

Secretary for the Civil Service Denise Yue Chung-yee promised legislators last week she would remind government department heads to exercise racial sensitivity when hiring staff. Why do department heads need reminding that racism isn't allowed in government? Isn't this something they should always remember? She made her promise after it was revealed the police rejected a Hong Kong-born Pakistani job applicant after making him take a Chinese test even though he had a grade A in the GSCE exam. Yue told legislators she would find out whether departments forced applicants to take such a test even though they had a grade A in Chinese. Why should she need to find out? Shouldn't she already know this? She is the civil service boss, after all. In any case, Ms Yue, have you found out yet? Please share your findings with us all. We do pay your salary.