HK$2,200 for tycoons? Have our lawmakers lost it? | South China Morning Post
  • Mon
  • Jan 26, 2015
  • Updated: 5:08pm
Public Eye
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 October, 2012, 3:27am

HK$2,200 for tycoons? Have our lawmakers lost it?

BIO

Michael Chugani is a Hong Kong-born American citizen who has worked for many years as a journalist in Hong Kong, the USA and London. Aside from being a South China Morning Post columnist he also hosts ATV’s Newsline show, a radio show and writes for two Chinese-language publications. He has published a number of books on politics which contain English and Chinese versions.
 

Have our saviours of the grass roots all lost their marbles? They surely must have if their logic says to help the poor they must also give taxpayers' money to the rich. How crazy is that? Sure, let's help the elderly poor. The old lady who scavenges cardboard boxes to survive could do with an extra government handout. But why give the likes of Li Ka-shing a handout, too? Yet that's what trade unionist and democratic camp legislators want to do. They want to give everyone aged 70 and above - even those with millions in the bank - a HK$2,200 monthly handout. This is not robbing the rich to give to the poor. It's robbing the taxpayer to give, in some cases, to those who simply don't need it.

Should these lamebrains even be legislators? All those 70 and above already qualify for a monthly HK$1,090 "fruit money" handout, no questions asked. What society in the world - rich or poor - doles out money every month, even to millionaires, in the name of helping the needy? We're not talking about handing out social security to seniors who've contributed to it during their working life. We're talking about free money, compliments of the taxpayer. Even shipping tycoon Cecil Chao Sze-tsung, who offered a HK$500 million reward to the man who'll marry his lesbian daughter, qualifies for the current HK$1,090 "fruit money" and will qualify for the HK$2,200 handout. Where's the logic in that? Giving money to everyone 70 and above without screening those who don't need it will increase the old-age handout bill by an estimated HK$4 billion. Surely, these legislators can think of better ways to spend this money, if they really are the champions of the poor they claim to be?

An education for Leung in public humiliation

If only he had listened. But he refused to. Leung Chun-ying played "all or nothing" with national education. And he ended up with nothing. Even when citywide opposition swelled, he insisted on pressing ahead. He shut his ears to the voices of compromise urging that he put national education on hold to allow for a fresh public consultation. Only when he was being chewed up alive by public fury did he make an attempt to compromise on the eve of the Legislative Council elections. But by then it was too little, too late. Monday's humiliating climb-down is a lesson Leung should burn into his mind. If he had listened to the public he could have salvaged national education in a more publicly-acceptable form. Now it's totally dead.

Ex-justice secretary can't judge who is the real idiot

The truth is out - former justice secretary Elsie Leung Oi-see thinks our judges are idiots. Not for wearing those funny robes and wigs, but for foolishly believing they really had judicial independence. She says, not in so many words, judges can't understand their independence plays second fiddle to the commands of the central government. Leung says this ignorance has caused judges to wrongly grant right of abode to mainland babies. In fact, Leung thinks the whole legal profession doesn't understand how the law should be applied under our new master. We don't know if she counts herself among the idiots since she, too, belongs to the legal profession. But we'll venture a guess the judges she insults roundly consider her a fool. They must be wondering how she ever became justice secretary, when she is so clueless to the fact judges rule according to the law, not politics. Still, they must be gleeful of her penchant for saying things that earn her public ridicule, such as labelling opponents of national education as anarchists. So who's the real idiot?

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