Public Eye

How graft-buster morphed into political tool

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 February, 2013, 5:28am

It used to be that the ICAC went after serious stuff like crooked cops stashing away millions in corrupt money. And now? Illegal structures, broken promises to election supporters, and political leaders with rich friends. What next? Cats stranded on trees? Yes, chief executive election candidate Henry Tang Ying-yen built an unauthorised basement. But how is that corrupt? Even if Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying had lied about his illegal structures, how is that corrupt? Surely, those are matters for other law-enforcement agencies, not the Independent Commission Against Corruption. Even if Leung had promised election supporter Lew Mon-hung an Executive Council seat, why is that corrupt? Leaders are entitled to choose their cabinet members. If it was corrupt for Leung to have offered Lew an Exco seat, why isn't the ICAC also investigating Barry Cheung Chun-yuen and Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun? They headed Leung's campaign and both are now in Exco. Is there even the slightest proof that former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen was corrupt just because he hitched rides on the yachts and planes of tycoons? How come the ICAC isn't also investigating the tycoons? Corruption takes two to tango - the giver and the taker. Public Eye agrees totally with former ICAC No 2 Tony Kwok Man-wai, who says the agency has become a political tool. Politicians are using it to smear their opponents. The lengthy investigations keep suspects under a cloud for months. Tsang has been investigated for more than six months. Charge him or wrap it up. Stop wasting public money. The ICAC is obliged by law to investigate all complaints. Change the law. Or better still, charge those who make politically motivated complaints found to be frivolous.

Multiple entries each day, every day don't make sense

Why the stiff government opposition to scrapping multiple entry visas for mainland visitors? The system is being openly abused. We all know that. Yet we are letting political sensitivities get in the way of border control. Why even have a border? Mainlanders are streaming in by the millions anyway, no questions asked. Reasonable people are saying entry should be restricted to once a day. What's wrong with that? Genuine tourists don't make multiple entries each day, every day. It's clear those who do are up to no good. Immigration alarm bells would sound instantly if someone crossed the US-Canadian border multiple times every day without a valid reason. There will be times when a visitor has special reasons to cross the border more than once on a given day. Our immigration officers can decide on a case-by-case basis whether to let them in. That's what immigration officers around the world do. We pay ours to protect our borders, not to robotically stamp entry chops. If that's what they do, let's save taxpayers' money by scrapping all checkpoints at the Hong Kong-mainland border.

Let the market crash and the people march

Our property market will crash big-time. Public Eye says the sooner the better. Let's have no more government cooling measures. They don't work. Prices are once again climbing. Cooling measures are no match for the greed we have here. Our officials should stop telling people to think before buying in this loony market. Let them buy. That'll make the inevitable crash come sooner. Then they will march in the streets demanding a government bailout for being in negative equity. They've done that before. And we can tell them to shove off.