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My Take
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 November, 2012, 2:54am

A food 'scandal' to sink their teeth into

Corruption, collusion, conflict of interest - call in the ICAC, quickly!

The Civic Party and that guiding light of democracy, Apple Daily, have uncovered an outrage deep inside the house of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. His wife, Regina Leung Tong Ching-yee, has secretly set up a non-profit company to tackle food waste and distribute leftover food from hotels, restaurants and bakeries to the needy.

This won't do, warned the Civic Party's Dr Kenneth Chan Ka-lok, because - I am not making this up - she could be leveraging her husband's influence to help promote certain public policy - like limiting food waste. Apple splashed this scandal of scandals on its front page on Monday.

"She should distance herself from pushing any public policy," said Chan, a lawmaker. "It will give the public a clouded perception, as her company needs to apply for funding from both the government and the private sector.

"The public will be suspicious of her potential motives as she has close ties to well-heeled enterprises … It will undermine the government's credibility when it pushes food-waste policies."

Chan has gone to the trouble of sending a letter of inquiry to Leung's office, demanding an explanation of Tong's position and asking whether there is a conflict of interest.

Oh, did I forget to tell you Chan also teaches political science at Baptist University? You wonder if this is the kind of political issue he teaches his students to fret about.

How dare Mrs Leung abuse her connections to promote the reduction of food waste and its recycling! I mean, the conflict is obvious. Our First Couple might use their position to save on waste disposal charges at Government House and their luxury home on The Peak, for God's sake!

Did you know Mrs Leung has exploited her influence by talking to green groups, which have welcomed the idea of extra funding for such waste-reduction schemes? The fact that Friends of the Earth and the People's Food Bank run by St James' Settlement supported Mrs Leung's initiative shows the impunity with which she has abused her connections and power.

But, thanks to the vigilance of the pan-democrats and their media friends, she should now stay home like a good little lady.

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rainer
Sorry guys but I do agree with Kenneth Chan.
A) Any set up company ( non profit or not ) will need to hire staff and pay wages.
This company could be used to employ 'friends' with nice salary packages.Just look at the very lax disclosure regulations for those 'non profit' companies and you will know what I am writing about.
B) The mentioned non profit company will need to apply for 'Government funding' .... this could create a conflict of interst as well ... some people might vote for funding just to please or CE.
As good as Mrs. Leung's intentions might be .... she should stay away from this - specifically at this time. There have been too many scandals in recent history and the press would tear her into bits in case they slightest irregularity occurs.
That would neither be good for the cause nor for her personally.

whymak
II am sure Dr. Chan Ka Lok the political scientist, or more to the point, a politico pretending to be a scientist, agrees whole-heartedly with your arguments. Let me take up your points one at a time.
"This company could be used to employ 'friends' with nice salary packages." What kind of jobs? Left-over food suggests soup kitchen servers. Obviously, Mrs. Leung needs to distribute employment to her minimum wage friends, which run into tens of thousands.
"There have been too many scandals in recent history and the press would tear her into bits in case they slightest irregularity occurs. "
Maybe 2 or 3 parallels will suffice:
1. There have been lately too many divorces. HK should suspend issuing marriage license for 6 months.
2. Enraged Scholarism kids are staging hunger strikes. CY should make no more public appearance for a month to avoid **** them off.
3. Cancer cells need oxygen to grow and metastasize. All cancer patients should hold their breath as much as possible.
I hope you’re not a university teacher like Dr. Chan. Because if you are, may God educate our children!
anson
I couldn't agree with you more Alex. If Mrs Leung would just stick to the script and concentrate on gaining social and economic advantages like many normal spouses of leaders then we would all feel more comfortable. This crazy idea of doing something worthwhile for society with no benefit to herself has left me shocked.
whymak
Huh!
John Adams
As long as we elect legislators like Chan I think we deserve the fact that BJ has reservations about giving HK full democracy
What Chan says is total idiocy ( and that's putting it mildly)
What Mrs Leung is doing is entirely good, worthwhile and commendable
(Which is a lot more than can be said about Chan, his Civic party, and any pro-dems who support such idiotic motions)
whymak
I repeat my one-liner posted to another SCMP report yesterday:
Dr. Chan sounds like another one of those academic 流口水博士 and nihilists.
I hope the university wasn't stupid enough to have awarded him tenure. Come on, a lifetime job for a charlatan politico and yellow journalist pretending to be a scientist! Galileo will be rolling in his grave.
There is an irony in the Civil Party name of which he is a member. Civic is a palindrome. By action and deed, Dr. Chan has demonstrated his mouth (or mind) and rear end are conjoined.
johnyuan
The academic-politician has gone viral over some fact he gathered. His response to the fact shows what lacks in both maturity and judgment. Rightly he is being ridiculed publicly in the MY TAKE. He should grow up quick and reform his judgment to show that his brain is not fed by a mouthful of wasted food find in Hong Kong.

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