Li Keqiang

Public Eye

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 August, 2011, 12:00am


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Rise of a new policing era

Men in black suits. Unidentified and menacing-looking. They attack first, ask questions later. Core security zones. Parameters unknown. Enter at your own risk. It's the dawn of a new policing era under tough-guy Commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung. Get used to it. You can protest that his policing tactics mimic those in totalitarian states. You can demand to know how the police justify core security zone parameters. He'll just stare you down. He'll tell you he's got the power, you don't, and that he's right, you're wrong. That's what he did on Monday when grilled by legislators on much-criticised police tactics in protecting visiting Vice-Premier Li Keqiang. When is an area a core security zone? Tsang's answer: when the police say it is. How do the police decide on the zone's size? His answer, in effect: that's for us to know and you to guess. Why did unidentified men in black suits arrest a housing estate resident wearing a June 4 T-shirt? Tsang's answer: he was in a core security zone. Why did a black-suited man block the lens of a TV cameraman filming the arrest? Tsang's answer: he saw a 'dark shadow' and instinctively attacked the cameraman. This is the new sheriff in town. Go ahead, tremble. You have every reason to.

Black ops

There's a heatwave out there, right? The whole city feels like a polluted sauna. So why are Sheriff Tsang's security men all wearing black suits? Black absorbs rather than deflects heat. Can you imagine the sweat, not to mention the body odour, on these men in black? Maybe it's another of Tsang's policing tactics. Who'd want to get near these sweaty, smelly guys? But is that fair on citizens unfortunate enough to be manhandled by this sweaty, stinky bunch for innocently straying into core security zones? May we suggest shorts and T-shirts instead? June 4 T-shirts are optional.

High price on free speech

Free speech is a tradable commodity. It can be bought and sold. That's how our Home Affairs secretary, Tsang Tak-sing, sees it. He wants Hongkongers to trade free speech for economic gain. That's right, shut up and make money. Tsang wants us to stop causing a stink over Li's visit. He wants us to be thankful for the economic goodies Li threw our way instead of being sidetracked by other issues. Hongkongers have been distracted by only one issue concerning Li's visit: free expression. People are shouting about police abusing free expression rights in the name of security. Do you want everyone to stay silent and suck up the benefits, Mr Tsang? Is that all the worth you put on what is supposedly a cherished Hong Kong value?

What an environmental racket

There's something you should know about the army of bureaucrats paid to protect our environment. They earn fat salaries. Here's something else: our environment sucks. The air is polluted, the harbour is filthy and the noise is excruciating. But you already know all that, which means just one thing: we're paying our environment officials for nothing. Hong Kong is one of the world's noisiest cities, but these officials haven't even bothered to find out if the racket is ruining lives. Another government department, Census and Statistics, finally did a survey. It found that 36 per cent of adults - more than two million people - say the noise deprives them of proper rest. Sure, we have noise laws, but these are routinely flouted. The police don't care. They are curt if you call to complain. Public Eye had personal experience of that just two Sundays ago. You can't call the environment officials because, like all good bureaucrats, they disappear on Sundays, holidays and at night when noise laws kick in. The noise doesn't bother 64 per cent of the people. Do you know why? It's because they know there's nothing they can do about it.