Public Eye

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 February, 2012, 12:00am


Let's hear it for Henry, he's made the chief executive race racier

Come on, everyone. Let's go easy on Henry Tang Ying-yen. So he's got an illegal underground palace where he can watch the latest movies, soak in a sauna or sip the best Bordeaux wines from his well-stocked cellar. And he's a wife-cheater who's admitted straying. The man knows how to live. Should we fault him for that? But all that aside, we should thank him rather than throw stones at him. He single-handedly turned the chief executive election into a thrilling page-turner. We now have four, not just two, pro-establishment candidates. The 1,200 election committee members are stumped. Beijing has lost control of the puppet strings. Tang alone accomplished all that. So altogether now: 'Thank you, Henry.'

It's bureaucrats, not people, who know what's best for the people

How loud must a voice be for it to be heard? Don't ask our transport chief Eva Cheng. She is tone-deaf. You can shout shrilly, loudly, or hoarsely but it won't make a difference. She can hear you all right, but not what you're saying. That matters little to her. As far as she is concerned, she gets HK$300,000 a month to do as she pleases, not to listen to the people who pay her. How else do you explain her deafness when virtually all of Hong Kong is screaming for the government to drop its plan for mainlanders to drive here? Hundreds of protesters can take to the streets. Political parties can demand the plan be shelved. Thousands can oppose it on Facebook. But politicians and the people who elected them are just a noisy nuisance to bureaucrats like Cheng. Nothing in their rule book says that, as unelected officials, they should hear the voice of the people all the more. Their rule book simply says bureaucrats are the rulers. They know what's best for the people more than the people themselves.

Cars, not pedestrians, will always have right of way

District councillor Paul Zimmerman, who is leading a campaign against mainlanders driving here, says the city's streets must first cater to pedestrians. Surely, he's hallucinating. Has he ever waited at a light to cross the road? Has he noticed how short the green light is for pedestrians and how long it is for vehicles? Public Eye has seen on many occasions little old ladies barely making it halfway across before the green light is gone and the honking begins for them to get out of the way. Has Zimmerman not noticed how our bureaucrats have turned the city's best harbourfront areas into highways, not walkways? Surely, he knows our bureaucrats sit in their oversized offices obsessed with how best to prioritise vehicles over pedestrians. Come back to earth, Paul.

The cage homes are full but at least life is looking up for pets

Let it not be said that our bureaucrats are uncaring. They do have big hearts when it matters. Why else would they untangle their normally folded arms to push a new law that forces owners to ensure pets have acceptable living conditions? Public Eye is moved. But there's just one thing: how will the tens of thousands of Hongkongers who live in partitioned slum flats and cockroach-infested caged beds take the news? Our bureaucrats have essentially told them dogs deserve better living conditions than them. You can't really blame the bureaucrats. They live in big fancy flats. Many have dogs, well cared for, cute little things with floppy ears that the bureaucrats and their tai-tais like to parade around after the maids have cleared up the poop. How can anyone with a heart not want such a life of bliss for all dogs? OK, it's true our slum-dwellers have long pleaded for acceptable living conditions too. It's not that the bureaucrats are against equal treatment for slum-dwellers. But bureaucrats are only human. They can only do so much. They must get their priorities right.