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  • Dec 27, 2014
  • Updated: 11:35am
Public Eye
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 December, 2012, 7:30am

No camera, no show for our preening politicians


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.

Stuck in traffic, had the flu, feeling dizzy, fixing a busted mobile phone, chatting with a woman, being interviewed on radio - that's the list of clownish excuses our legislators gave for missing a panel meeting on Chief Executive C.Y. Leung's illegal structures. Only nine out of 32 panel members showed up, so the meeting had to be aborted. Do you know how much taxpayers pay these clowns? Over HK$84,000 a month. For what? Do you know why they didn't bother to turn up? The pro-establishment clowns wanted to spare C.Y. further embarrassment. The pro-democracy clowns saw no mileage in attending. It was not a high-profile meeting. They couldn't grandstand in front of the TV cameras. How come they weren't stuck in traffic or feeling dizzy when C.Y. took questions in Legco a couple of weeks back? It's nauseating.

John Tsang: rich in advice, poor on reality

Our Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah lives in an official residence in Shouson Hill with a sprawling lawn overlooking the harbour, compliments of the taxpayer. He earns over HK$300,000 a month and rides around in a chauffeured car. No wonder he's a happy man. Yet he moans in his latest blog posting that the media only focuses on bad news, not good news. His advice to Hongkongers: "Don't worry, be happy." Public Eye is happy to pass his suggestion along to the 280,000 families a new survey shows live in squalid subdivided flats. We'll also pass it along to all the elderly folks who must scavenge for cardboard boxes to survive. Of course, the 200,000 applicants who have waited years for public housing also deserve to be told they needn't worry, but should be happy. Come to think of it, there are lots of people we need to tell - renters who face yearly rip-off increases by greedy landlords, people forced to work overtime without extra pay because we have no standardised working hours, families surviving on a minimum wage of about HK$6,000 a month. To all of you we say, don't worry, be happy. But we won't tell them the man who's giving this advice lives in a hilltop house the size of hundreds of subdivided flats. That would be focusing on negative news.

Chauffeurs are fine … other illegal parkers are fined

Police Superintendent Eric Leung Yan-kit says drivers who park illegally will have their vehicles towed away, if necessary. Why only if necessary? What does that mean, anyway? How many illegally parked cars belonging to rich folks have the police found necessary to tow away? None, we bet. The police now admit chauffeurs are among the worst offenders in congested Central. Wealthy bosses would rather pay the puny fines for illegal parking than have to wait for their cars. Want to solve the problem? Multiply the fines. And always tow the cars, not just when necessary.

Time for US to bite the bullet on gun laws

Whenever a nutcase goes on a shooting rampage America's powerful gun lobby screams its usual mantra that guns don't kill, people do. How many more innocents must die before American politicians dare shoot down this stupid logic? Yes, people kill, not guns. But nutcases cannot go on shooting rampages if they can't get guns. How many shooting rampages have there been in Hong Kong, Singapore or Japan? None. That's because people can't simply go into a shop and buy a gun. The US Constitution grants citizens the right to bear arms, but that right has morphed into insanity. If now - after the murder of 20 innocent children - is not the right time for politicians of all leanings to stand up against the gun lobby, when is? Must the US, which is already in decline as a global leader, give yet more reasons for the world to laugh at it?


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This article is now closed to comments

Let's pick something to rejoice about since you bring up America's love affair with guns.
Here is a comparison of murder rates per 100,000:
HK 0.2, Singapore 0.3, Japan 0.3, Finland 2.2, Germany, 0.8, China 1.0, Taiwan 3.2, and the US 4.2.
Among developed countries, the US is the champ in this department. Does the high murder rate in Taiwan suggest full fledged democracy is not feasible for Chinese? Democratic India is up there too with 3.4. Imagine how many more Indians will be murdered if they have guns?
US gun death rate per 100,000 is 9.2, which is much higher than gun homicide. Indeed, guns kill!
hard times !
I fullyagree with Michael that quite a lot of our 'respectable'lawmakers only clownish ones who are either too loyal to the authoritiess by biasing towards them or too selfish to grab the limelight of the media or they would have laughable excuses for not turning up at a Legco panel meeting starts at 8:30 a.m.----never too early for most local primary(a.m.) session or whole-day primary and secondary students since their lessons are used to start at about 8 a.m.! How can we claim that 8:30 a.m.on Monday morning is a too early time to start a vital panel meeting where the hearings on illegal structures of our Chief Executive will be heard since both minister for development and dept.head of the Buildings Dept.will have to be present. Earning up to HK84,000 a monthly salary but late for an important panel meeting which cost tax-payers at least HK$840,000 ! Are these clownish lawmakers waste tax-payers' money or they themselves are a bunch of waste indeed ? I wonder.
@"Stuck in traffic, had the flu, feeling dizzy, fixing a busted mobile phone, chatting with a woman, being interviewed on radio - that's the list of clownish excuses our legislators gave for missing a panel meeting on Chief Executive C.Y. Leung's illegal structures."
Seem perfectly reasonable excuses to me!
The real clowns are those organizing this wasteful panel meeting.
The prize for best non-attendance excuse goes to Michael Tien, whose phone "didn't work". By the way, he doesn't answer emails either, in spite of inviting readers to contact him on his web page.
Traffic fines should be levied as a percentage of the car's value subject to a minimum.


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