Public Eye
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 May, 2014, 3:30am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 May, 2014, 3:30am

A soul-crushing experience en route to Shenzhen


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.

A soul-crushing experience en route to Shenzhen

Last Saturday at 1.30pm, Public Eye travelled on the East Rail Line to Lo Wu. Swarms of people loaded down with luggage forced their way onto the train at every stop. It became so full that we found it impossible to move, but it got even more nightmarish at the crammed Sheung Shui station. Passengers and parallel-goods traders surged in. Public Eye was shoved from one side of the train to the other by people fighting to board. Panicking, we looked around to see if, by any chance, MTR Corporation chief executive Jay Walder was on board to witness the horror. Nope. Was Secretary for Housing and Transport Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung there? Nope. What about Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So Kam-leung, who advised everyone to wait for the next train if the first one was full? They were probably all enjoying the weekend in their chauffeur-driven cars. By the way, you could have waited for 10 trains; it would have made no difference. On the Shenzhen side, parallel-goods traders stacked tins of infant formula and other Hong Kong goods on the pavement to sell. And we are told by our top officials that they have put the fear of God into these traders. What should we do with these officials, who are among the highest-paid bureaucrats in the world? Public Eye can think of several things; none are printable.


Cover-up has blown Walder's cover

What do you call it when MTR boss Jay Walder phones transport minister Anthony Cheung urging him to hide the truth about a delay in the high-speed railway from the public and legislators? It is a cover-up, plain and simple, no matter how many times our officials deny it. Walder has let two of his underlings take the fall but wants to get off the hook himself with an apology. What kind of a boss is he? The kind who earns more than HK$10 million a year but wants the buck to stop with his minions. Cheung was more idiot than conspirator in the "Tunnelgate" cover-up when he agreed to lie. The head that must roll should be Walder's. Please go, Mr Walder. Public Eye has said many times before that you are not worth your salary. We have been proven right.


Black travel alert rendered meaningless

Separatist terrorists knife people and set off an explosion at a train station in the restive western province of Xinjiang , killing three, injuring scores. No black travel warning from the Hong Kong government. Terrorists crash an SUV into tourists in Tiananmen Square, killing five, wounding dozens. No black travel warning. Terrorists stab people randomly at a railway station in Kunming , Yunnan , killing 29, injuring more than 140. No black travel warning. Just yesterday knife-wielding attackers injure six at Guangzhou railway station. No black travel warning. An aggrieved former policeman hijacks a bus carrying Hong Kong tourists in Manila, killing eight, injuring several. Up goes the black travel warning - for nearly four years. It is eased only after the Philippines expresses regret for the tragedy. Still doubt it was purely political? Public Eye now treats the Security Bureau's travel warnings for what they are - Mickey Mouse alerts.


Michael Chugani is a columnist and television show host.



Send to a friend

To forward this article using your default email client (e.g. Outlook), click here.

Enter multiple addresses separated by commas(,)