Expect more racist raving
Are we seeing the emergence of dirty politics in Hong Kong? US politicians are masters of it, as the appalling game of chicken over the recent debt crisis showed. Former president George W. Bush played it exceptionally well after the September 11 terror attacks by throwing this one-liner at his political opponents: 'Either you're with us or you're with the terrorists.' He allowed no middle ground. If you didn't support his gung-ho invasions or torture tactics you were a terrorist supporter. Our own Liberal Party, which fiercely opposes citizenship for foreign maids, seems to have borrowed from Bush's book. Party vice-chairwoman Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee threw down this challenge to its political foe, the Civic Party, in newspaper ads. 'Is the Civic Party on the side of Hongkongers or on the side of foreign maids?' Below the belt for sure, but masterful. It stirs racist fears among Hongkongers by painting maids as evil-doers who, as citizens, would steal their jobs, demand higher pay and swamp the city by bringing in family members. Expect more of this. It's called democracy, and you asked for it.
HK still wants its pound of flesh
It's not a great time to be a foreign maid in Hong Kong, especially if you're from the Philippines. We want our maids to clean our toilets and cook our meals. But we tell them to their face we don't want them as fellow citizens. And a year after the Manila hostage crisis, which left eight Hongkongers dead, we're still demanding our pound of flesh. We want the country to bow in subservience as punishment for the acts of a lone crazed gunman. What does all that say about us?
Police probe remains a mystery
Remember that little incident when 29 police officers used a HK$10 million marine police launch to sail to scenic Po Toi Island for a long, boozy lunch while on duty? Police chiefs promised a probe after a public outcry. How long ago was that? Oh yes, almost two years. Okay, maybe that's not really a long time when you're probing the complicated case of errant officers stealing away to dine on lobster and wine. But we thought we'd ask for the findings anyway. Here's the reply we got: 'The investigation on the incident is completed and relevant disciplinary proceedings are still continuing.' Huh? If the probe is done, there must be a finding. What is it? What do you mean by relevant disciplinary proceedings? Why are these proceedings still continuing? Baffled, we asked again. This is what we got: 'Please kindly note that we have nothing further to add.' This is new tough-guy police commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung's definition of transparency. To him, transparency and cover-up mean the same thing.
Force doesn't care about noise
Can't enjoy some Sunday quiet time at home due to illegal construction noise? Don't bother calling the police. They don't care. They may even lecture you. It happened to Public Eye last Sunday. We pointed the police to illegal construction noise from an upscale office building. They went to check, the workers saw them, stopped the drilling, and the police left, convinced Public Eye had imagined the noise. With the officers gone the drilling resumed. We called again, the police checked again, the noise stopped again, and the workers told the police they were leaving anyway. The police bought the story and told us they had solved the problem. When we said the noise would surely return again, the police testily lectured us. Public Eye told them we were in the media business and knew the law about Sunday construction noise. The head officer shot back that he couldn't give a damn even if we were the chief executive and ended the conversation. The drilling, of course, resumed. We didn't bother calling the police again. If they don't care about the chief executive, what chance do little guys like us stand?