• Sun
  • Jul 13, 2014
  • Updated: 5:30am
Public Eye
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2013, 5:17am

Impeach bid is waste of public's time

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 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.
 

Today will see the start of a two-day circus when anti-Leung Chun-ying legislators try to impeach the chief executive. There will be the usual clownish antics and angry speeches - all for the benefit of the TV cameras.

When the circus is over Leung will still be our chief executive. But legislators elected to do the people's business will have wasted time and public money - assets that could have been more productively used than chasing a fool's dream.

Let us use a megaphone to say this loud and clear: C.Y. Leung is here to stay. It will take more than a failed impeachment and a protest march of several tens of thousands for the central government to fire him. Our leaders up north have made that plain. OK, you can argue that even a failed impeachment sends a message the people will not tolerate a lying leader. You can argue the man has lost all integrity by dodging, delaying, and talking in double negatives, instead of coming clean on his illegal structures.

But what is more productive: taking a moral stand that leads us nowhere or using the time and effort to fight winnable battles over urgent issues such as housing and poverty? Leung will make his first annual policy speech next Wednesday. Shouldn't opposition legislators use this week's Legislative Council meeting to pressure him to deliver on his campaign promises instead of wasting time trying to impeach him?

No, Public Eye has not become a Leung shoeshiner. We're just telling it like it is. Let's face it: the anti-Leung march on New Year's Day was more of a flop than a success. No one seriously believes 130,000 people turned up, as the organisers claimed. Even the independent Hong Kong University survey put the figure at about 30,000.

By inflating the figure the organisers actually showed Leung does have some public support. We harp on about his dismal popularity rating. But is 49.1 per cent really that bad?

So, which would you rather have - affordable flats and help for all those elderly people who scavenge cardboard boxes for a living or taking a moral stand?

 

Who's being unrealistic now, Anson Chan?

What's former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang playing at? After the anti-Leung march she described the protesters as being unrealistic for demanding Leung resign since he still had Beijing's trust. She even said some in the community wanted to give him a chance to govern. Now she says she supports the Legco impeachment against Leung. Surely, she knows the intent of the impeachment is to topple Leung. Has the so-called "conscience of Hong Kong" lost her marbles?

 

And the Heart of Cold Award goes to …

We handed out Public Eye's annual Name and Shame Awards last week but the callous comments of a top official two days ago has forced us to confer a belated award. It goes to housing undersecretary Yau Shing-mu. He either didn't read our awards list or didn't care. Last week we conferred our top Shame on You Award to the overpaid bureaucrats who had let another year pass with arms folded while struggling families continued to live in squalid subdivided flats. But did that bother Yau? No. Instead, he coldly said low-income families chose to live in slum cubicles and that some flats were decently subdivided. The poor live in subdivided cubicles because they have no choice. But we can't expect overpaid bureaucrats like Yau who reside in oversized flats in "la la land" to understand that. Yau gets our Heart of Cold Award.

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