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And the winner is? Yes, it's time for Public Eye's annual Name and Shame Awards, now in its sixth year. Who best deserves our 2012 Shame on You Award? Many would say Chief Executive CY Leung for hiding and then lying about the illegal structures at his home. What made it even more shameful was the way Leung savaged election rival Henry Tang Ying-yen for trying to cover up a luxurious illegal basement while he was hiding his own illegal structures. But after weighing Leung's crimes against his good work on pressing social issues in his first six months as leader, Public Eye concluded he doesn't quite qualify for the Shame on You Award. He has acted to cool the property market, increased the old-age allowance for seniors, blocked mainland women from having babies here, and cracked down on parallel goods traders. Leung better deserves the Shiftiest Double-Talker Award for the way he dodged, delayed and double-talked for months, instead of coming clean on his illegal structures.
Officials who are overpaid and underachieving
Public Eye's Shame on You Award goes instead to our overpaid bureaucrats who have let another year go by as families continue to live in squalid subdivided flats. We gave the same award to them last year when they promised swift action but did nothing after nearly 20 residents of subdivided flats died in a building collapse and two fires. Hong Kong's bureaucrats are the highest paid in the world after Singapore. Yet our air quality sucks in comparison to Singapore. Elderly people haul cardboard boxes to survive. Families live in caged beds and subdivided slum flats while Singaporeans enjoy spacious public housing. Bureaucrats, we say: shame on you.
Karate Kid Chan just does not get Hong Kong
Wasn't it wonderful to see so many Hongkongers out in the streets yesterday protesting for and against CY Leung? Fading movie star Jackie Chan wouldn't agree. He says Hong Kong has become a city of marches and wants the government to curtail our right to protest. The freedom to protest is a core value which Hongkongers will defend at all cost. If Chan, a Hongkonger, can't understand that, then he's a disgrace to our city's good name. There was only one contender for our Jerk of the Year Award, and it very deservedly goes to Jackie Chan.
Sky-high prices for our skyscrapers
No shame list is complete without our greedy property tycoons and landlords who have driven prices and rents to absurd levels. Where else would you see even car park spaces selling for HK$1 million? To all these vultures we confer our Gods of Greed Award.
A breath of (fresh) air in HK's polluted atmosphere
Public Eye makes an exception this year and names someone for praise. To Christine Loh Kung-wai, who has been saying all the right things about fighting our filthy air since being appointed environment undersecretary, we confer the Name and Praise Award.