Public Eye | South China Morning Post
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  • Jan 31, 2015
  • Updated: 1:53pm

Public Eye

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 March, 2012, 12:00am
 

Want free publicity, Bill Wong? Become a hero

Mainland tycoon Bill Wong Cho-bau should have come to Public Eye first. If he had he wouldn't have found himself in the mess he now is. Wong says free publicity, not politics, was the reason he rented his three-level penthouse to Donald Tsang Yam-kuen. What better way to advertise a luxury Shenzhen residential complex than to have a retiring Hong Kong chief executive move in? Wrong, Mr Wong. You got your free publicity all right - but for all the wrong reasons. We could have told you from the start your idea was idiotic. But Wong can still make things right now that Tsang intends to cancel the lease. Turn it into subdivided flats. Think of all the partitioned cubicles you can carve out of a three-level penthouse. Then dispatch limousines to shuttle in Hong Kong families from slum flats and caged beds. Give them a taste of penthouse living - at a modest rent, of course. You'll have all the free publicity you want. And you'll end up a hero. What say you?

Imagine all the yachts ... it's easy if you try

Let's not stop there. All those tycoons with fancy yachts and private planes, including those who offered rides to Donald Tsang, should consider becoming heroes too. Once the slum people have moved into Bill Wong's subdivided penthouse our tycoons should invite them aboard their yachts and planes. Don't forget to also invite all those wrinkled old ladies who scavenge discarded cardboard boxes for a living. Take them to Macau. Fly them to Phuket. Make their dream come true. Listen to the happy laughter of the slum children. Who knows, the tycoons may learn to like it. It's all doable. And the tycoons can make it happen. As John Lennon said -Imagine.

Bureaucrats build offices while the poor eat cake

Not many of you will know much about the Securities and Futures Commission, or SFC, which was set up by the government to regulate the stock market. But here's what you need to know: the SFC has HK$7.4 billion in cash reserves - money it hoarded by charging you a levy for stock trades. The HK$7.4 billion belongs to the people but the SFC treats it as its own. It rents lavish offices for its overpaid staff that cost HK$180 million a year. Now it wants to splash out part of the people's money to buy posh new office space. Yes, billions to buy new offices for bureaucrats while tens of thousands of families live in slum flats and caged beds. Maybe they should splash a few billion on yachts and private planes too. There will still be plenty left for a three-level Shenzhen penthouse. If the cage dwellers protest the bureaucrats can tell them to go eat cake.

Don't look for secret signals - enjoy the silence

We're all waiting, and wondering. But why? Why are we all still waiting for a signal from Beijing on who it prefers as our next chief executive? Aren't we all already agreed that this should be a fair election free of puppet strings being pulled by Beijing? So why all the second- guessing? Election day is less than three weeks away but Beijing has yet to signal a preference. Vice-President Xi Jinping studiously avoided sending any signals when he met Hong Kong VIPs in Beijing. Surely, we should all applaud this silence. By applauding it we'll be sending our own signal that we don't want Beijing to choose. But no, we didn't applaud. Instead, we took to second-guessing why Xi shook hands first with Leung Chun-ying's supporters before greeting Henry Tang Ying-yen's supporters. We wondered if that was the signal we've been waiting for. How silly is that? The more we wait, wonder and second-guess, the more we make it appear as if we want Beijing to choose. Stop the silliness.

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