Public Eye

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 July, 2011, 12:00am

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Why waste money on a pricey 'rubber stamp'?

The air is thick with suspense. Who will Beijing bless as our next leader? But Public Eye has a tougher question. Which is a bigger waste of public money - elections caused by legislators who resign as a political stunt, or elections for a committee to rubber-stamp Beijing's choice of chief executive? Told you it was tough. Last year's political stunt resignations by five legislators cost over HK$100 million. But this December's election to choose a 1,200-member election committee to pick our next chief executive won't be cheap, either. The committee will rubber-stamp Beijing's choice. We all know that. So why waste money on an expensive rubber stamp? Why not just give the job to the one Beijing blesses? Never thought of it that way, did you?

Putting Beijing's 'yes men' on the spot

OK, so we all know whoever Beijing blesses ends up winning. Beijing's anointments tell everyone that chief executive elections are, in effect, rigged since the 'yes men' in the election committee will never say 'no' to Beijing's choice. Beijing should raise its game. The mainland official overseeing Hong Kong matters, Wang Guangya, says the next leader must be capable, popular and patriotic. All three likely candidates have those qualities to some degree. And they're all acceptable to Beijing. So why bless just one? Bless them all. Or don't bless any and let them slug it out. Beijing needn't worry about the democrats fielding a candidate. It has only to frown on that candidate and the 'yes men' will say 'yes sir'. But at least the 'yes men' will have to make up their own minds, for a change, on the three candidates acceptable to Beijing. Let's see if they have the brains for it.

Rita 'read my lips' Fan puzzles the pundits

Yes, it's true, the 'yes men' never say no, but how many remember that Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai actually said no? She said it not once but numerous times. No, not to Beijing, but to running for chief executive. 'Read my lips. I am not running.' That's what she repeatedly said for much of last year. OK, we made up the 'read my lips' part, but she's on record saying over and over again she had no interest in becoming our next leader. When she retired as Legislative Council president in 2008, she said: 'These are my golden years. These are the years I am going to enjoy.' But she has changed her tune. It is no longer no. She's now saying maybe. Will she come full circle and say yes? Most likely, but not unless Beijing blesses her. There we go with again with the blessing bit. Let them slug it out, we say.

Something in a gladiator ring, Ms Leung?

Legislator Priscilla Leung Mei-fun has backtracked on her demand to punish voters who elect legislators who then resign for frivolous reasons. But we're intrigued. What kind of punishment did Leung have in mind? Maybe we could herd them all into an arena to fight to the death, gladiator style. If you think that's too gruesome, we could herd them into a stadium and have spectators hurl bananas at them. Donald Tsang Yam-kuen can be chief hurler and cheerleader. That would be payback for all the bananas he's had to dodge in Legco. What do you think Mrs Leung?