Public Eye
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 September, 2013, 4:13am

Loyalty to mainland is loyalty to one's country

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 TVB’s Straight Talk 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.
 

Public Eye does two freelance shows for ATV, in English and in Chinese. There, we have declared our interest. Now we would like legislator Claudia Mo Man-ching to declare hers. Is pro-Beijing bad and anti-Beijing good? We are asking her because we are baffled by what she said a few days back. Mo has been rabidly critical of ATV, and the real reason became crystal clear in an RTHK interview. She slammed the appointment of Louie King-bun as ATV's executive director to replace James Shing Pan-yu, saying he is a pro-Beijing guy who once worked for a left-wing newspaper. Mo told RTHK she was "terribly worried" about such a person leading ATV. There you have it: Louie is unfit because he is loyal to his country. Mo said ATV would serve the mainland's interests rather than the "real" interests of Hong Kong. This is what baffles Public Eye. Isn't Hong Kong part of China? What good comes of taking the position that we have our interests and the mainland has its interests and serving its interests would damage ours? Isn't that dividing our society - something many pan-democrats accuse Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying of doing? If pro-Beijing is bad, what is good? Pro-Britain? Pro-US? It is mind-boggling that more than 16 years after the handover, we still have this stupid labelling of people as pro- and anti-Beijing. And we claim we are mature enough for democracy.

 

Bickering bureaucrats should give us space

How big is a 50 sq ft space? The size of a kitchen maybe? Imagine fitting a toilet, kitchen and living area in that space, calling it a "suite" and renting it out for more than HK$1,500 a month. Super-rich Hong Kong has tens of thousands of people housed in such "suites". A group that helps the poor did a survey that showed families of four living in 100 sq ft "suites" costing HK$3,800 a month. Have you ever tried eating, sleeping, doing homework and going to the bathroom in a 100 sq ft space that you share with three others? Our top bureaucrats certainly have not. Their maids have larger quarters. The monkeys at the Zoological and Botanical Gardens have larger cages. Our legislators are paid about HK$70,000 a month. What do the people get in return? We get to see them throwing bananas, arguing about a foul-mouthed teacher, going on junkets and bickering about democracy. What would you choose: the right to vote or the chance to move out of your "suite" to a decent home?

 

Dear Mr Williams, your letter has a hole in it

Public Eye does not normally take issue with people who write letters to this paper. But the one by Keith Williams, general manager of the Golf Club, got up our nose. He says the club pays the government an annual market rent of HK$1.9 million. That is less than what a small mom-and-pop store in Causeway Bay pays. But forget about that. What Williams does not say is that the club pays just HK$1 a year for the sprawling Fanling courses. Leaving out that vital fact distorts the whole picture. He says the club is "very much" a part of the city. Wrong. The demolished Star Ferry pier was part of Hong Kong. So is the old Victoria Park pool, which is now being razed. The golf club is part of wealthy Hong Kong only.

Michael Chugani is a columnist and broadcaster. mickchug@gmail.com

 

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