Public Eye

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 September, 2011, 12:00am


No Fan of Rita's Wonderland

Run, Rita, run! Or, don't run, Rita, don't run! But whatever you decide, Rita, please let the people know. Enough of this talking in riddles. Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, former Legislative Council president, has played mind games with the people for too long. First, she hints that she'll run for chief executive. Then she says she's clueless about economic matters but will learn. Later she says she lacks administrative skills but hints she'll run anyway. Then she says she won't run if her favourite candidate runs. But she ref uses to name the candidate. Then she says she supports Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen but won't say if he's her favourite candidate. Maybe Fan thinks teasing the people makes her look smart. But it makes her look stupid. Being the next chief executive is serious stuff, not Alice in Wonderland nonsense. Or should we say Rita in Wonderland?

Hardly a modest tease

Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee is a tease too. But unlike Rita Fan's toying, Ip shoots from the hip. She minces no words. She says all the likely candidates for chief executive aren't qualified. That's why she won't rule out running herself. Gee, thanks, Regina, that's what we call modesty. But she won't say for sure she'll run either. Now that's what we call being a tease. Run, Regina, run! Or don't run, Regina, don't run! Only six months remain before the election, so decide, or you'll end up in Rita's wonderland.

You are not to blame

Let's see now: so far we've got Rita in wonderland, Regina in danger of falling into it, Henry Tang waiting for Rita to anoint him as her favourite candidate and Exco convenor Leung Chun-ying wondering who Beijing will anoint - him or Henry. One of them will be Hong Kong's next leader. Aren't you so glad you don't have the vote? At least you can say you had nothing to do with it, whoever ends up winning the election, erm, small circle selection.

A rancorous bid for freedom

Balding men in dark suits. College kids in black protest T-shirts. In between, a vacuum. Everyone's talking, no one is listening. A dialogue of the deaf. That sums up Monday's Legco security panel meeting on police abuse of free speech. Security Secretary Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong stared coldly at the three students, who police had manhandled during Vice-Premier Li Keqiang's visit, and issued this challenge: sue us. The students hurled back scorn in kind. Police commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung sat icily through the nearly four hours of rancour. He mocked those who demanded that he withdraw his much-ridiculed claim that a police officer instinctively blocked a TV cameraman from filming an arrest after seeing a 'black shadow'. The police chief, in effect, said: I won't retract, so go to hell. In this dialogue of the deaf, many questions were asked, very few were answered. University of Hong Kong officials insisted they did not request security so stifling in protecting the vice-premier that it abused free expression. The police insisted they did. Who's lying? A formal inquiry would unearth the truth. The authorities, however, won't play ball. What are they covering up?

Police cast shadow on meeting

Armani, beware. Polo, beware. Giordano, you're more down-market, but yes, you too. The dress code police mean business. Reporters wearing black T-shirts with the words 'I am not a black shadow' were barred from Legco's press and public galleries during Monday's meeting. Why? Because the rules forbid any sign or message on clothing items. So get rid of that Polo logo or Giordano label if you want to observe our legislature in motion. Reporters were allowed in only after the meeting's chairman ruled they could. 'Longhair' Leung Kwok-hung always wears his trademark Che Guevara T-shirt in the members' chamber. Will he be thrown out if he enters the press or public gallery? Monday's meeting was about police abuse of free expression. How stupid is it that reporters practicing free speech on T-shirts were thrown out?