• Sat
  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 11:22pm
My Take
PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 August, 2013, 4:04am

Cathay junket shows that Albert Ho Chun-yan is not so whiter than white

Bravo, Albert Ho Chun-yan, you have proved yourself to be every bit as shameless, disingenuous and mendacious as any politician.

The PR disaster of the Cathay Pacific junket may have involved public figures across the political spectrum.

You may object that I am picking on Ho. After all, lawmakers from the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong and Liberal Party also took part, among others.

But unlike Ho and fellow democrat and traveller James To Kun-sun, they never pretend to be whiter than white and holier than thou.

Ho, the former Democratic Party chief and occupant of one of the five so-called super-seats in the Legislative Council, is the only one who has gone out of his way to make misleading statements about the free trip to France.

Ho said: "The authority to [approve air operator's] licences lies solely with the government" and that lawmakers would not be giving Cathay any favours just because they were treated by the company.

Perhaps. But as has been pointed out, Ho is not just a legislator.

There is the small matter of Ho being a member of the board of the Airport Authority and that his tenure lasts till the end of 2015.

Those on the French trip have confirmed that Cathay management had repeated its opposition to granting an operator's licence to Jetstar Hong Kong, which could create a potential rival. That was what Ho's self-serving justification was referring to. Well, if not lawmakers, then surely the Airport Authority is an interested party, to put it delicately.

There is also the small matter of the proposed third runway, which of course Cathay and the Airport Authority support, and which unlike Jetstar's licence application, does require lawmakers' support.

Umm, is that a conflict of interest for Ho? Well, that's arguable, but we all know for pan-democrats like Ho, everything is a conflict of interest and corruption if it involves the government or its opposing camps.

But I am glad we have this controversy because it will teach some very naive Hong Kong people that pork-barrel politics, the you-scratch-my-back-I-scratch-yours variety, is the one true universal constant in politics.


For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

I am waiting until the summer break is over and Albert Ho and consorts will start again to "monitor" the goverment for wrongdoings, "corruption" and matters of conflict of interest (resulting in calling for a ICAC investigation). I must say, everytime when he will point his finger he should point another one at himself. I am looking forward to it.
Both Albert HO and James TO should resign. Either that or be kicked out of office. They have been caught accepting an advantage (that's a bribe in layman's language). The question I have is Emily LAU, as leader of the Democratic Party, prepared to show some backbone by removing these two. You can't lecture others about integrity in public life, whilst your own people have their noses in the trough.
John Adams
"Conflict of interest" is the best that can be said legally . If someone of Albert Ho's education, legal background and political experience could not see that fact when he and his wife were invited by CX he is seriously mentally challenged - by which I mean totally stupid.
"Corrupt" for receiving an advantage is the worst that can be said legally. It will be interesting to see if the ICAC mounts its own investigation.
But "Hypocrite" is by far the worst condemnation of all. On that matter the Court of Public Opinion and History will judge.
But as far as this member of the public is concerned (and as a tax payer and someone who flies often) Ho, To and their political party have lost the high moral ground forever.
Pork-barrel politics indeed ! They all have their snouts in the pigs trough when they think no-one is looking.
All members of the board of directors of the Airport Authority who serve in either EXCO or LEGCO and who joined this trip should do the honourable thing and resign from the board and all pubic posts. They can no longer be trusted to make unbiased decisions on the 3rd runway proposal.
hard times !
If both Albert Ho and James To should resign for the junket they accepted from Cathay Pacific, then how about the other 7 Exco.member and Legco members ? Especially Exco.member,Cheng Yiu-tong who showed no regret at all and even claimed that he had declared his accepted offer beforehand ! Yet he is the one to be blamed as being an Exco.member, he has the right to determine the issue of a licence for the budget airline:Jetstar in the future discussion in Executive Council sessions ! Besides,how about the other seven Legco members:Ip Kwok-him (refused to donate what he got from Cathay Pacific),Kok Pui-fan,Chung Kwok-pun,Leung Kai-cheung,Ma Fung-kwok,Chan Mo-po and ...? Should these 7 diginities have to resign too ? I wonder.
Yep, they all should go. My point is that the DP claims the moral high ground in so many of its public pronouncements. Are these just empty words or is the DP prepared to act on it's principles?
Dai Muff
So what the clearly pro-Beijing posters here are saying is we should be less critical of the pro-establishment legislators because no one expects better of them anyway. I think that's called "damning with faint praise".
If you lay out standards for others to follow and to be punished when they fail to meet them, then you need to live up to them as well by yourself. Otherwise you are just a hypercrite and using those standards of morality and value just for your own agenda.
Has someone brought in the icac yet ? Pls do
Check out some of the members on the Board of the Hong Kong Airport Authority
The Honourable Albert Ho Chun-yan . Member of the Legislative Council. Tuen Mun District Council Member.
Member of the ICAC Complaints Committee.(Gee!)
Mr Stanley H ui Hon-chung JP
Chief Executive Officer
Former Chief Executive Officer of DRAGONAIR and Chief Operating Officer of AIR HONG KONG.
Emoluments $6.3m
The Honourable Chan Kam-lam Member of the Legislative Council
Chairman of the Panel on Transport, Member of the Finance Committee
The Honourable Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung Non-official Member of the Executive Council. Member
of the Legislative Council.
Ms Miriam Lau Kin-yee GBS JP Liberal Party ex Transport Functional Constituency member in Legco
See how much they are paid
Pansy Ho Jetstar CEO




SCMP.com Account