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  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 1:26pm
Public Eye
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 December, 2012, 3:19am

Time for C Y to stand up and take it like a man


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.

Exactly a week ago Public Eye urged Leung Chun-ying to stand tall, come clean on his illegal structures and move on. We're still waiting. Hong Kong desperately needs a strong chief executive with the moral authority to lead. Leung's moral authority vanished soon after his election win with the many revelations of his illegal structures. Cover-ups were not possible even during the Watergate era. How can they be possible today, with an ever-more-aggressive media? It is truly baffling why politicians never understand that once the tip of an embarrassing truth emerges the whole truth will emerge. When will Leung realise the only way he can salvage at least some of his lost moral authority is if he tells the whole truth? Why can't he understand that every time the media unearths more of the truth it further discredits him? Leung said he will answer unanswered questions at the right time. Surely, that time is now? The city deserves a leader who can inspire, and fix our many problems. Leung promised to be that leader. But he spent the past five months climbing down a hole instead of up. True leaders take their punches standing up. Can he?

Stop spending our money to tell us what to think

Brainwashing you with your own money - that's what the government's top propaganda man says he has a right to do. Public Eye is astonished people aren't kicking up more of a stink. Shiu Sin-por's startling remarks about using the secretive Central Policy Unit - which he now heads - as a tool to influence public opinion should have scared us all. Yet opposition legislators kicked up surprisingly little dust. Be warned - silence effectively clears the way for the government to use public funds and airwaves to manipulate public opinion. You've all seen those idiotic government announcements of public interest, or APIs, telling Hongkongers to do everything from washing hands to loving their families. Such announcements have always been non-political - especially because TV and radio stations are forced to run them for free, under licensing conditions. But two blatantly political ones began airing recently, changing the very nature of APIs. They urge viewers to side with the government on the Old-Age Living Allowance and new towns in the New Territories, which some legislators oppose. Both are purely political ads rather than APIs under the intended meaning. When challenged, Shiu said the government had every right to fight back in the public opinion war. Is he even thinking straight? Opposition politicians aren't making TV and radio stations run taxpayer-financed politics ads. They don't have such powers even though they were elected by the people. But our unelected government does. Shiu can fight back all he wants, but not by manipulating public opinion with the people's own money.

Cooling measures have only tamed the madness, John

Don't be duped by Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah's latest double-talk about what a wonderful job he has done to cool our insane property market. He boasts that his latest cooling measures have "stabilised" prices. What does that mean? Prices jumped more than 20 per cent in the past 10 months alone. Even he admits that's loony. When he says prices have stabilised, he doesn't mean they have dropped back 20 per cent. He just means they are at the same insane level, but not getting any loonier. So enough of the double-talk. Homes can only become affordable if prices drop, not just "stabilise".



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This article is now closed to comments

Why can't the government be allowed to influence the thinking of their constituents? Even you, Michael, is using all your power to influence/manipulate public opinion. If they may be said to have a self-interest in it, can it be said that you do not?
I had great hopes for CY before we came into office. But I must say, he has let himself and many who rooted for him down with this illegal structure thing. No matter how he takes it like a man, his days are numbered if he carries on with his current style. I suggest he either does something so out of the ordinary or let the pro-democracy to eat him alive till he resigns.
Many had expected CY Leung and his team to do a lot more and quickly to solve housing woes in Hong Kong. This is no ordinary problem that a big swathe of HK residents are facing. Not having a proper roof over one's head could affect more than just where you sleep tonight. But the pace with which this government is solving the problem is at snail pace. The introduction of higher stamp duties is not the solution at all. This stamp duty thing only defers the inevitable rise again.

It seems everyone in HK knows what the problem is except the government - Demand is uncontrolled, anyone can come in and buy or speculate, all in the name of free market. On the Supply side of the equation, this is controlled by the Developers, for theirs and the banks' interest, in order to keep prices fairly high and stable. So, what will happen to those who haven't bought a roof over their heads ???

The immediate thing CY has to do is to supply really affordable housing to a big swathe of the population to show that you can solve real problems. Changing school books is not the real problem for example. Once he has done that and gain some credibility back, the impact of those calling for his resignation will lessen because the big swathe of the population will be busy moving into their new flats and won't have time to support the pro-democracy banana-throwing clowns.

So, please CY, go and build lots of cheap good flats.
What about all of the anti-Falun Gong banners that have covered al the railings in Tsim Sha Tsui for the past month or so? Does the fact that they haven't been removed mean that they represent government sanctioned propaganda?
I am glad that HK still enjoys freedom of speech,no matter you are in Tsimshatsui or in Taikoktsui .Whatever you say would not be denounced as long as you are a decent man.
I am not talking about freedom of speach. The question is whether or not it is legal to hang hundreds of banners on public spaces. I believe that it is not. Otherwise, why does anyone or any company pay for advertising?
For the same reason,has Falun Gong applied for a permit to distribute newsletter,erect metal frames to display anti-communists propaganda and distribute newsletters?If both anti and pro propaganda are illegally displayed,the government should do something.
Central Policy Unit - CPU - Central Propaganda Unit
Why Michael insists non-elected government is inferior to an elected one?HKSAR is not formed through universal suffrage,it is true,but I don't prefer Indian type of democracy to indirect-election-type of government.Your article is a grumbling one,not analytical,confusing black and white.Short-sighted and ugly.Sentimental.
Agree with Michael very much, well done. BTW Universal suffrage is HK's dream... then we all are leveled one... wateva the background...


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