Public Eye

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 December, 2010, 12:00am

The buck stops with ... blindness

Still don't know why Public Eye keeps on telling you our officials live in cloud cuckoo land? Then go back and read again what Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen (inset) did last week. He defended the officials who cleared the way for a retiring housing chief to work for a property developer. Yes, defended. He saw nothing wrong with the officials ignoring conflict of interest. He didn't think it a big deal that the officials ignored a key factor in Leung Chin-man's past that would have made normal people hear alarm bells. You see, Leung had close dealings with developer New World while housing director. He was involved in selling a government housing estate to a New World sister company at a bargain price. Normal people would have smelt a rat and wondered if the plum job was a payback by New World. They would have factored in this suspicion when deciding whether to give Leung permission to work for New World. But our officials are not normal people. They told themselves that since Leung would be handling mainland rather than Hong Kong business, there would be no conflict of interest. That logic, of course, misses the point, but they didn't want to know. They preferred to shut their eyes to the fact that Leung would still be working for New World and this was the conflict of interest, the reason for public suspicion, not where he did business. But Tang shut his eyes, too. He defended this collective blindness. That's what happens when you live in cloud cuckoo land. You can't see what others see. Your logic goes a bit cuckoo.

The buck stops with ... 'it's a private matter'

Greed, pure greed, that's what drives this place. If there's a quick buck to be squeezed, we know how to do it. We squeeze it from struggling families through obscenely high property prices, from workers through paying slave wages, and now from villagers by blocking access to their land unless they pay some big shots for road use. First, the government throws the villagers out of their homes to make way for the high-speed railway to Guangzhou. The villagers have nowhere to go. All hell breaks loose. New Territories kingpin Lau Wong-fat offers to find them new land. They buy it with the eviction money the government gave them. But the land can only be reached through a private road. One of Lau's relatives demands half a million bucks for access. A middleman wants to squeeze the villagers for another HK$5 million. The government says it's a private matter and therefore none of its business. That's the coward's way out. The government evicted the villagers in the first place. It has a moral duty to intervene. Others in the area have had free use of the private road for years. So why are the new arrivals being charged? Greed, that's why. You know how vultures scavenge on the helpless. That's what they are - vultures. It's sickening.

The buck stops with ... the greenhouse effect

No, Public Eye is not trying to be the Grinch who stole Christmas. But surely, you can have Christmas without the lights, right? The three wise men didn't need lights. All they had was a single star. That alone guided them to the baby Jesus, not great big flashing neon lights. OK, so it was one hell of a bright star. But it wasn't running on fossil fuels. It didn't produce harmful greenhouse gases. If the three wise men could find Jesus guided by a single star, surely you can find Central or Tsim Sha Tsui without all those gaudy Christmas lights wrapped around all those high-rise office blocks. Or are you saying that you're not wise enough to do that? If the three wise men were here now, they would be laughing at you all. Jesus would tell you it's a sin to waste so much electricity. So enjoy the lights if you wish, but don't do it in his name. Christmas lights; bah, humbug!