Public Eye

UBS report on Occupy impact is a load of bull

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 April, 2014, 5:12am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 April, 2014, 5:12am

There is an investment bank called UBS. We suggest it take the "U" out and simply call itself BS. Why? Because its recent report on the doom and gloom effects of Occupy Central is so full of BS it makes Public Eye laugh. It actually compares Hong Kong's planned pro-democracy protest, Occupy Central, with Bangkok's violent anti-government uprising. It warns of stock market volatility, a slump for Central offices and shops, and an exodus of investments and tourists. In case UBS - or BS - has not noticed, Hong Kong is not Bangkok. Our protesters hurl bananas, not bombs. Tourists losing confidence in Hong Kong? More than 70 per cent of our visitors are mainlanders. Rather than fleeing, they will be flooding in for a first-hand look at civil disobedience in a free society, something they do not get to see back home. Occupy Central will be a tourist attraction. And since when have foreign investments fled Hong Kong for good? Not even during the severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic or the jittery lead-up to the handover.


Greg So needs a hard kick back into the real world

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So Kam-leung must have just returned from a long vacation in la-la land. Why else would he repeat the same old babble that the city is perfectly capable of handling 100 million visitors annually - even after his boss, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, admitted we needed to reduce the numbers? The only way to shake free the la-la land effect from our overpaid bureaucrats is to make them live like ordinary Hongkongers. Make them line up for The Peak trams, MTR trains, Disney rides, and for kindergarten spots for their children. Then see if they still say a city designed for seven million can handle 100 million.


Let those loose-lipped loyalists say what they want

Every time our so-called Beijing loyalists shoot off their mouths, we all behave as if what they say has the central government's stamp of approval. Grow up, people. Much of what these loyalists say is publicity-seeking drivel that has as much blessing from Beijing as legislator "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung's banana-throwing. Yet, we treat people such as Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai and Maria Tam Wai-chu, both Hong Kong members of the National People's Congress, like exalted emissaries. Whenever they give their two cents' worth, we scream and holler as if Beijing's heavy hand has tightened its grip on our freedoms again. Just look at our angry overreaction to Basic Law Committee member Rao Geping's gibberish that Hong Kong adopt the mainland's national security laws temporarily. Any fool would know even Beijing would laugh off such a plan, since it would most probably trigger a repeat of the 2003 protest when 500,000 people marched against Article 23 of the national security legislation. Yet we behaved as if Rao was speaking for Beijing. Hongkongers treasure free speech, even though the exercise of it by some people can make them look like idiots. Rao is free to mouth his nonsense, but that does not mean we have to take him seriously. Demanding that these people shut up would deny them their free speech rights, making us hypocrites. Better to just let fools be fools.


Michael Chugani is a columnist and TV show host.