Who claims themselves speak perfect English?

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 May, 2014, 3:53am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 May, 2014, 3:53am

Who claims themselves speak perfect English?

The English language abilities of the Beijing loyalists are under the spotlight once again. With grammar pedants still wincing at the mistakes in last week's "Letter to Hong Kong" by lawmaker Starry Lee Wai-king, of the Democratic Alliance for Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, her colleague Christopher Chung Shu-kun may have usurped the throne as King of Chinglish. "Shame! Shame on you!" shouted Mr Chung as he questioned MTR chief executive Jay Walder over the delay to the high-speed railway. "You are being a CEO. You are very 'wearly' [sic] passive to get the information from your staff … You are dreaming on your office or you are not attended at your office. Answer me!" The clip, posted on the internet on Monday, prompted a flood of criticism. But Chung, who earned a master's degree in the UK, was unrepentant. "Who can claim themselves speaking perfect English? Everyone has their own accents."


Railway blame: strange train of thought

The transport minister Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung has promised to resign if he is found at fault for delays to the high-speed cross-border railway. But pro-government group Voice of Loving Hong Kong has suggested someone else may be to blame - pan-democratic lawmaker Gary Fan Kwok-wai. On Tuesday, the group's chairman Patrick Ko Tat-bun pointed out that filibustering by pan-democrats had once derailed a proposal by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to split the Transport and Housing Bureau into two. This had caused Cheung, tipped to become the housing minister, to become secretary for transport and housing instead. "CY [Leung] knew that it was difficult for a minister to take care of these two policy areas, so if someone has to step down, it should be Fan, not Cheung," Ko said. While Fan might have been an outspoken critic of the transport minister, it seems unfair to blame him for derailing the plan - he was elected lawmaker in September 2012 … two months after the plan was dropped.


Big brother is watching Legco members

As the filibustering over the budget continues at the Legislative Council, the government has been doing its best to meet the quorum. Not only has it deployed dozens of civil servants at various entrances of the Legco building, to keep a close eye on lawmakers' whereabouts, it has tried to extend the surveillance to their vehicles. According to a member of the secretariat, the government had asked for the car licence plate numbers of all legislators. "Of course we refused to provide the information," said the secretariat member. "After all, it is personal data." The government must know the privacy ordinances well, so how far can it go, legally, to ensure there are enough lawmakers in the chamber to vet its budget?