Public Eye

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 August, 2011, 12:00am


When 'meddling' is really a contribution to healthy debate

Did Wang Guangya meddle in Hong Kong's affairs by labelling our civil servants as good followers but lousy leaders? Maybe, but why are we making such a big deal of it? He is, after all, the mainland official overseeing Hong Kong affairs. And if he thinks our leaders lack governing skills he should be allowed to say it. It's called free speech, not meddling. The 'one country, two systems' line works both ways. We shouldn't meddle in the mainland's affairs. But we do. We speak out about human rights, the jailing of dissidents, and so on. And so we should. But free speech works both ways. What's wrong with Wang finding fault with our leadership? We do the same. Maybe he should have pointed the finger specifically at our political leaders, not bureaucrats. But most of our political leaders are former bureaucrats. Let's look at it this way: Wang stirred debate on a crucial Hong Kong issue. And debate is good in a free society.

Time to wean ourselves off our addiction to cheap maids

Let's face it, excluding foreign domestic helpers from becoming citizens is discriminatory. We want them to cook our meals, clean our toilets and walk our dogs. But we reward them with second-class status. Yet even backpackers who land a job as bartenders in Lan Kwai Fong qualify for full residency after seven years. Where's the fairness in that? But let's not kid ourselves - it's fear, not fairness, that guides most Hong Kong people when it comes to foreign maids. It's the fear of being swamped by third-world people with a different culture and complexion. Then again, we live in an overcrowded city. Adding thousands more residents could cripple our stretched system. We wouldn't even be having this debate if we hadn't imported so many maids. Hong Kong people behave as if a maid is a right. It's time we weaned ourselves off this addiction.

What would Confucius say about badminton court row?

Confucius said one should not tilt the truth. Well, Confucius never actually said that. Public Eye made it up. We dragged his name into all this because of rich guy Tong Yun-kai, the head of the Confucian Academy. He confused us with his version of the truth. He built a private badminton court on public land outside his luxury Shek O house without permission. And when he was caught, he said: 'I didn't occupy the land. Everyone can come in and even camp on the court.' Huh? You built the court, paid for it, played badminton on it, and it's on government land. But you say you never occupied the land? And now you say we can use it too, making us accomplices in your rule breaking? What would Confucius say?

New MTR boss isn't the only one getting rich on his travels

Public Eye has figured out why Hong Kong is lavishing money on New York subway boss Jay Walder to become MTR chief. It's because the MTR lavishes our money on its other top staff too. You can't have the boss earning less than his subordinates, can you? That's why the MTR will pay Walder over HK$7 million a year - more than double his New York pay. MTR won't release exact details of directors' pay, but directors get about HK$7 million annually. With bonuses, Walder can expect over HK$10 million a year. We challenge the MTR to name a railway chief anywhere else who makes that kind of money.