• Sat
  • Jul 12, 2014
  • Updated: 5:01am
Public Eye
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 October, 2012, 7:27am

Many questions surround shocking marine tragedy

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.
 

Tragedies involving the loss of lives are terrible, but they are worse when they strike during festive occasions. Monday's ferry collision killed 38, just as tens of thousands gathered to watch the National Day fireworks. A hit-and-run at sea? It all doesn't make sense. We don't yet know the full story. An inquiry will unearth the facts. But this is a tragedy that, on the face of it, could have been avoided. Someone needs to pay.

Times are changing for property fat cats

The tycoons are crying foul. They are furious at the government for wantinSg to change the development goal posts in the northeastern New Territories. Some are sitting on lots of cheaply acquired farmland, waiting for the right time to build flats for sale at rip-off prices. But Leung Chun-ying's administration wants to resume all the land belonging to villagers as well as developers for three new border towns. It may then resell some of the land for private housing. This means developers who now own land may miss out on the action. They're threatening to sue. Go ahead. But wake up and smell the new people power. Leung was slow to smell it and look where it got him. In a cesspool. The tycoons have had the goal posts in their favour for too long. Sue if they must, but that'll only send yet another message that they care far more about fattening their wallets than the interests of the people.

Tycoon should put his money where mouth is

Tycoon Henry Cheng Kar-shun's New World Development has hoarded one million square feet of land in the border area. He's the fellow who switched sides from Henry Tang Ying-yen to Leung Chun-ying the minute Leung won the chief executive election. His new pal Leung has since appointed him to a commission looking to solve growing poverty in Hong Kong. Cheng isn't saying much about how he'll react if Leung's people resume his land. But he says the NT development will make preposterously overpriced homes more affordable. Great. But how about putting his land where his mouth is? Why not use some of his one million sq ft to build affordable homes for residents of slum subdivided flats and caged bed spaces? Or is he a member of the Poverty Commission just for show?

Forget the husband, why not help Hong Kong's poor?

Talking about tycoons, what's property and shipping magnate Cecil Chao Sze-tsung going to do with the HK$500 million he promised to the man who would marry his lesbian daughter Gigi now she's spurned his gesture? Splurge it on something decadently extravagant? Or spend it on something really worthwhile? The ranks of the poor are growing. Imagine what HK$500 million could do. Why not use the money to help tens of thousands? That way, rather than being known as the tycoon with a lesbian daughter he'll be revered as the Bill Gates of Asia.

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