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Bureaucrats gone wild with unpopular TST facelift plan

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 August, 2015, 2:16am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 August, 2015, 2:16am

Bureaucrats gone wild with unpopular TST facelift plan

Who decides what's in the public interest - the people or the government? The answer can be found in the way our bureaucrats have ignored public opinion against a controversial Tsim Sha Tsui promenade facelift and pressed ahead anyway. Accustomed to holding themselves in high esteem, our officials have always behaved as if they know better than the people what the people want. They got away with it during colonial times, but even though the public's thinking has now changed dramatically, those tasked with the business of managing the city still cling to the mentality that they're above the people. When the unpopular Tung Chee-hwa was chief executive, mainland leaders urged him to think like the people. A decade later, our bureaucrats have yet to absorb that advice. If they had thought like the people, they would never have given New World Development exclusive rights to expand and manage the waterfront. They would have understood that granting such rights without an open tender would spark accusations of collusion. When planners insist that a popular public space just a decade old needs a major upgrade, it tells us how short-sighted they have been. When they tell us the upgrade will necessitate shutting it down for three years, they fail to understand that ordinary people use it to watch fireworks, soak in the spectacular view and show off to overseas friends. Hongkongers already have limited access to our magnificent harbour. The best will now be shut down.

 

If Trump is elected US president, we all suffer

All of a sudden, the unthinkable has become thinkable. Donald Trump could end up as chief executive of the world's sole superpower and leader of the free world. He's a racist, sexist, egomaniac and buffoon all rolled into one. To top it off, he has a comb-over. His rock-star status with voters warns us it would be imprudent to dismiss as fantasy his chances of becoming the next American president. Don't forget democracy elected Hitler too. If Trump does win the election, what's in store for the world? Stock markets everywhere are on a nerve-racking roller-coaster ride. Global economic recovery is sputtering. China and Japan are on a collision course. There is growing bitterness among Southeast Asian countries over Beijing's heavy-handed claim to the whole of the South China Sea. The US and Russia are squaring off in a way reminiscent of the Cold War. With that long list of simmering tensions, how safe are we all in the hands of a wacko who wants to deport over 11 million undocumented immigrants, calls Latinos rapists and women fat ugly slobs. Someone who wants to mangle the constitution by stripping it of the birthright granted to all those born on US soil? It's baffling that his poll numbers rise the more outrageous he gets. If he wins, American voters deserve him. But the rest of the world doesn't. We should all be trembling.

mickchug@gmail.com