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  • Jul 10, 2014
  • Updated: 5:23pm

Public Eye

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 April, 2012, 12:00am

What suddenly changed on the issue of mainland mothers?

Someone high up in our government needs to do some explaining. The people are owed it. How come it was so impossible under outgoing leader Donald Tsang Yam-kuen to ban mainland mothers with no Hong Kong links from having babies here, but so possible under incoming leader Leung Chun-ying? What suddenly changed? New leaders do often make policy changes. But such changes are mostly ideological. To ban or not to ban mainlanders giving birth here is not ideological. It is a legal issue. Surely, something isn't right when Tsang saw a treacherous legal road for a ban but Leung doesn't. How can their legal advisers be so poles apart? It's even more troubling if Beijing smoothed the ban road for Leung to boost his popularity after having let Chief Executive Tsang take the heat for so long.

Public Eye's illegal structure should qualify for amnesty

Public Eye is going to build a safe but illegal structure. We will register it with the government in exactly the same way Development Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has urged New Territories residents to register their illegal structures. We will then expect the same five-year amnesty that Lam has given NT villagers. If she can kowtow to the thuggish demands of Heung Yee Kuk leaders she can kowtow to Public Eye. There can be no double standards. Our government always boasts that it operates on the principle of equality and a level playing field. It's time to prove it. No one can say with a straight face that it's equality to slap the full force of the law on urban residents yet give NT villagers a free ride. But Lam is doing just that. We dare Lam to go on the record to assure Public Eye we can build an illegal structure and get the same amnesty as rural residents.

Powerful kuk kingpin needs to be brought into line by Exco

Call him what you want - rural kingpin, New Territories overlord, whatever. Simply put, Heung Yee Kuk top boss Lau Wong-fat is a powerful person who has the ear of Beijing. He is now using that clout to demand that NT villagers be above the law or else. Carrie Lam's five-year amnesty for rural law-breakers with less serious illegal structures is not enough of a kowtow for the kingpin. He wants her to kowtow even lower with a blanket amnesty if the illegal structures are safe. And if Lam refuses? The overlord warns the reconciliation that mainland leaders want Leung Chun-ying to achieve following the chief executive election mudslinging is off the table. Such threats border on mafia talk. Kingpin Lau isn't just the Heung Yee Kuk boss. He is also a member of the Executive Council, which functions as Chief Executive Donald Tsang's cabinet. But instead of advocating equality for all under the law he wants defiance of it by some. How does that qualify him as an Exco member? Why do our leaders so fear him that he is tolerated as a member of Hong Kong's top policymaking body? Incoming leader C. Y. Leung needs to oust him.

But dare he?

Sweeping changes needed to end rip-off by supermarkets

Are we going to just shake our heads in disgust and let it go yet again? Are our leaders going to again shut their eyes and pretend the nauseating greed is not happening? When are we all going to stand up and say we won't take it any more? Last week's Federation of Trade Unions study told us what we had already long known: our two major supermarket chains operate like a duopoly to fleece the people. They rip off consumers with fake sales. They dupe shoppers by advertising price cuts that are in fact price hikes. The Consumer Council is that only in name - a hopelessly toothless and ineffective watchdog. We have accepted the supermarket rip-off outrage for too long. When will our leaders - outgoing and incoming - have the guts to end this fleecing of the people?

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