Public Eye
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 November, 2013, 5:56am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 November, 2013, 3:22pm

Lawmakers should flush away this racist motion

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 TVB’s Straight Talk 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.
 

We don't want you as tourists but we want you as toilet cleaners - that's the message the Legislative Council will send to the Philippines today. Our legislators will vote on this nauseatingly racist motion to punish Filipinos for the Manila killing of eight Hongkongers by a deranged ex-policeman. Legislator Albert Chan Wai-yip's motion demands trade sanctions. But Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee prefers scrapping visa-free entry to Filipino tourists. Why? We can do without the 700,000 Filipino tourists who come here annually. But if we ban Filipino maids, who will clean our toilets? Reports say major parties will support the motion. Many voting for it are the same legislators who march for human rights and fair play. And here they are, voting to punish innocent Filipinos for the act of a madman. Excuse Public Eye while we go puke.

 

Internment camps for Filipinos? Why not?

We're not sure if scrapping visa-free entry will be part of the sanctions Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying yesterday threatened to impose unless the Philippines kowtows within a month. But if it is, what about other Filipinos in Hong Kong? Forget domestic helpers; we need them to clean our toilets. But that still leaves Filipino businessmen, nurses and catering staff. It would be unfair to punish just tourists. If we want to send a strong message to President Benigno Aquino for refusing to apologise, we need to be innovative. How about herding them into internment camps? The Americans did it to the Japanese after Pearl Harbour. If the white race can do it to the yellow race, why can't the yellow race do it to the brown race?

 

A lesson C.Y.'s bungling PR advisers must take to heart

Much of the mud flung at Leung is undeserved. That may go against popular sentiment. But Public Eye is never afraid to speak our mind. Yet we must admit the bungling way Leung's government handles controversies makes us want to throw up our hands and scream. We've never seen a government shoot itself in the foot so often. Who are Leung's PR advisers? Or does he not listen to advice? His disastrous Bloomberg interview in June when he repeated "no comment" seven times when asked about whistle-blower Edward Snowden should have been a wake-up call that he needed skilled PR people. But no, this government continues to bungle its way through one controversy after another. The latest is, of course, the uproar over television licences, which erupted just as public anger subsided over the seating arrangements as Leung met Aquino. Where were his PR advisers when Leung again hid behind "no comment" when pressed on why the government issued two instead of three licences? Didn't any of our highly-paid bureaucrats learn from the Bloomberg screw-up? Now, when the government's popularity has taken a disastrous hit, and as legislators threaten to invoke special powers to force answers, Leung bows to pressure to explain his cabinet's decision. But it's too late. The public has already been brainwashed into believing ulterior motives were behind not granting Ricky Wong Wai-kay a licence. American PR guru Lanny Davis has a simple motto: Tell it early, tell it all, tell it yourself. Government PR people should burn it into their heads.

 

Michael Chugani is a columnist and television show host. mickchug@gmail.com

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