• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 3:10pm
Public Eye
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 October, 2013, 4:27am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 October, 2013, 4:27am

No one is up in arms about injured domestic helper


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.

Ever heard of Epifanio Arbasto before? Probably not. He is a Filipino domestic helper who is paralysed from the waist down. You have probably not heard of him because how he became paralysed was never given much play by the Hong Kong media. A Hongkonger, Chan King-yun, pushed him to the ground during a basketball game in July 2010, one month before the Manila hostage tragedy. Chan was jailed for assault a year later. Did China's president at the time, Hu Jintao , apologise to the Philippines? No. Did Hong Kong's chief executive at the time, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, apologise even to Arbasto? No. Did the people of the Philippines demand an apology, compensation, and a guarantee that no Filipino helper would ever be assaulted in this way again? No. Filipinos are sensible enough to know the state cannot be blamed or assume responsibility for the act of one civilian. Arbasto sought compensation of HK$6 million last week from his attacker.Have Hongkongers rallied behind him to say that if families of the hostage victims deserve compensation, so does Arbasto? No. He is, after all, just a domestic helper.


Aquino twists the knife with 'forgetfulness' and apology

Did Philippine President Benigno Aquino really forget Leung Chun-ying's name or was he being arrogantly dismissive of our chief executive? The answer is in what he said: "I talked to the chief executive of the SAR - I am sorry and I apologise, the name escapes me at this point in time - wherein he explained their perspectives and I explained our perspectives." If Aquino really could not remember Leung's name, stopping at "I talked to the chief executive of the SAR" would have sufficed. But not only did Aquino make a point of saying he forgot Leung's name, he dug the knife deeper by using the words "sorry" and "apologise" - the very words Hongkongers are demanding he use for the Manila tragedy. There's no two ways about it - Aquino was mocking Leung.


As homebuyers return to market, so does greed

Public Eye has said time and again the home-buying frenzy will return once profiteering developers lower asking prices. And that is exactly what is happening. Buyers have been snapping up flats after major developers slashed prices and gave stamp duty rebates. Earlier, the government imposed cooling measures because greedy sellers refused to lower unrealistically high prices. Some developers came to their senses by lowering prices, but the subsequent buying frenzy reignited their greed and they are raising prices again. The measures are working and if the new greed persists, the government should slap developers with more measures.


Censors, take a good look in your own backyards

Did British Prime Minister David Cameron really warn that he would come down hard on his country's media unless it behaved with "social responsibility" by not revealing security secrets provided by whistle-blower Edward Snowden? The leader of a supposedly free society is now demanding the media censor itself in the name of national security. If Cameron moves the goalposts on what constitutes a free media, does he, and other free world leaders, still have the moral authority to mock mainland Chinese or Hong Kong media for self-censorship?

Michael Chugani is a columnist and TV show host. mickchug@gmail.com



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This article is now closed to comments

The fact that the domestic helper got HKD 6 million compensation going through the legal process and procedure is exactly the same thing we expect Philippines government should do. It is very clear from this case that there is lack of leadership, lack of sensibility, lack of responsibilities and still being arrogrant for the Aquinio! He has no sense of his shameful behaviors. The fact that he said sorry as he forgot the name of our Chief Executive also highlight one fact that we, Hong Konger, need to respect our Chief Executive first! Yes, CY can improve in many different ways. But, when he is representing us, we must support him! Domestically, CY and his team have done good job in stop the specualtion for property price.
I noticed those changes. Two of my comments on the first photo were deleted of which I first disapproved of its choice and the subsequent was thanking SCMP for obliging. Nothing of self-cencorship except a move in face saving.
Why the comment has been closed for further posting so early is up to anyone's guess.
This attitude is shameful, racist, and just plain looney.
MC, please allow me to occupy your corner here.
SCMP has been behaving very erratically. The kidnapping story after few days the comment section has closed down.
I too like other two readers, like the photo very much. It is aesthetically pleasing as well as relevant to the story. Thanks to the photographer and the editor. A job professionally well done. SCMP still has hope. OK?
Hello johnyuan. I'm the site's managing editor. The reason we turned comments off on the kidnapping story was because once legal proceedings are active, we cannot allow readers to comment as this may prejudice a trial. So no erratic behaviour, we are simply obeying the law. I hope this clears things up and that you continue to join the debate at SCMP.com.
More than just poker-face. I still can remenber in 1976 the immigration officer that checked my papers for leaving Hong Kong at the Kai Tak Airport. He, a young man sat at a height like a judge in a traditional courthouse with a straight face. I stood there looking up with disgust. This self-importance is beyond my comprehension. You probably went through the same experience or escaped the trama which was for me.
So years later, I reported an immigration officer to his superior at the Lowu side for forbiding me chewing my gum during paper checking. I was asked by the superior to take him to the officer for confirmation. I was later informed that that was no such rule.
Can you be kind enough to copy what you wrote that disappeared later.
Keep in mind anecdotes are no use for generalizations. I had quite a pleasant experience than yours with Hong Kong immigration many years ago on my return when I lost my ID card. I approached the officer processing local residents and explained what happened. He courteously redirected me to another. In no time, I received an exit permit - just in case I want to leave HK before I received a replacement. I walked through customs without waiting with other foreign nationals. Of course, my time and place were not the same as yours.
During the foul-mouth teacher controversy - why should anyone defend such unseemly behavior in public is beyond me, I commented on how HK constabulary behavior, corrupt and brutal in the 60s, has now developed into an exemplary police force, which exercises courtesy and restraint toward abusive, unruly street mobs. This is obvious to everyone who saw the video clips.
Yet one reader got riled up and said HK police was friendly and not the least corrupt during the 60s compared with today's partisans. What could I say when someone sticks to brainwashed myths and arguing them as facts?
If you read the imbeciles' hate-China comments and their rage against me, their vitriol is not even supported by a few anecdotes. There is a dearth of reason in their shopworn words, democracy and human rights, often used in the same fashion as religious nuts with their Ten Commandments.
Anson Chan "HK core values" is another outstanding example.
I am glad you 'corrected' yourself by citing my 'anecdote' in fact is specific in time which I assume can be use for generalization -- those high seat and desk used by the immigration officers were heavy wooden furniture and I believe they were many times there before my presence. A general experience of a specific period in Hong Kong.
BTW, let me also follow up on our posts about my citing of what some one explained to me (and I agree) that the food price has gone up (in China) because the food venders were aware that customers' had more money in their pockets when they get paid more. One can only refute such explanation if there is a perfect market economy where competition prevails. Unfortunately, cartel is still quite a norm in the market despite government keeps an eagle eye on the food price.
It is insulting to compare the Philipinnes hostage incident with the injury caused to the domestic helper. One is a transnational matter involving kidnapping and botched rescue resulting in many deaths, the other a private matter between individuals. It is misleading to suggest or imply that there was no demand for any apology because the private victim was a domestic helper. The occupation of the HK victims was totally irrelevant. I am sure if one of the victims in Manila was a Filipino or of any other race, his relatives would be more than welcome to join in the
The Philippine president definitely is a damn jerk! He has to make an apology not only to the families of victims, but also to all HongKongers. He treats the tragedy in a disrespect way by emphasizing no fault of his country, and insults all Hongkongers by claiming to have forgotten the name of the HK Chief Executive. I support the HK government to impose sanctions on Philippine, including denial entry of Filipino domestic helpers.




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