Public Eye

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 August, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 August, 2010, 12:00am

Let's not rush to judge Bokhary sentence

Whoa! Let's hold our horses and think for a moment. Are we going too far with all this rage over the court's lenient treatment of Amina Bokhary for slapping a policeman? Everyone's angry she wasn't jailed even though it's her third offence. They think Bokhary's influential family had something to do with it. But that's like saying her family exerted influence on Magistrate Anthony Yuen Wai-ming. Did her paternal uncle, Court of Final Appeal judge Mr Justice Kemal Bokhary, pressure Yuen to go easy on his niece? Did her maternal uncle, executive councillor Ronald Arculli, do the same? Did Yuen corrupt the judicial system by treating her differently because of her big-shot uncles? Did the police go easy because of her background? There's no evidence whatsoever any of this happened. If it did, then surely the issue is much larger than Bokhary's light sentence. The issue is a corrupt justice system. And that calls for a big-time investigation. But since nothing points to influence at play, aren't we going overboard in turning a mentally ill person into a villain just because she's rich?

An edifying display of rage

Wasn't it hilarious to see the Liberal Party in a rage last week over the Bokhary ruling? Party members staged a protest to vent fury over what they said was judicial favouritism for the rich and powerful. In case you didn't know, the Liberal Party is the unashamedly pro-business party that champions Hong Kong's rich and powerful.

Tentacles of Octopus immorality spread wide

Ousted Octopus boss Prudence Chan Bik-wah (inset) says she broke no laws selling the personal data of cardholders to telemarketers. She's right. Cardholders surrendered their privacy by signing up. It's all there in the small print. So wasn't Chan truthful when what she did was legal? Why did she only confess to data-selling after she was caught out? Public Eye will tell you why. Even though she was legally innocent, she knew she was morally guilty. That's why she wasn't upfront with the whole truth. But the moral of the story still hasn't sunk in at Octopus. On the day Chan lost her job, chairman Lincoln Leong Kwok-kuen confessed he and other board members knew about the data-selling but did nothing. He admitted he had told the MTR Corp, which owns most of Octopus and on whose board he sits. The MTR Corp, too, did nothing. Leong justified all this inaction by saying the data-selling involved only 'a very small amount' of money in relation to overall revenue. If it was that small, why did he bother to report the matter to the MTR Corp? Here's a moral lesson Leong needs to learn: it's not how much or how little is involved. Morals are not measured by money.

How the minimum wage numbers add up

Cathay Pacific: HK$6.84 billion; Swire Pacific: HK$8.91 billion; Cheung Kong: HK$6 billion; Hutchison Whampoa: HK$6.45 billion; Oriental Overseas (International) Ltd: US$1.28 billion (HK$9.98 billion); Hang Lung Properties: HK$6.67 billion. Do you know what all these figures are? Profits, glorious profits. Last week, Public Eye told you about the big, fat profits of HSBC, whose first-half earnings more than doubled. Now, more Hong Kong corporations have posted staggering earnings. Cathay's profits are up eight times, Hang Lung's five times. We asked you last week to think of all those profits, then think of how the business lobby keeps on insisting it can't afford to pay a decent minimum wage. All those companies we've listed drowning in all that money are all leaders of the business community. All belong to various business groups, such as the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, that have been spreading scare stories of economic doom if we had a decent minimum wage. With all that money in the bank, who among them, do you think, will have the decency to stand up and say: 'Yes, we think Hong Kong's workers deserve a decent minimum wage?'