Public Eye

Tear this fence down, Mr Leung! We're not terrorists

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 July, 2014, 3:35am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 July, 2014, 3:35am

Tear this fence down, Mr Leung! We're not terrorists

Speaking near the Berlin Wall on June 12, 1987, the late US president Ronald Reagan issued this challenge to Mikhail Gorbachev, then the leader of the Soviet Union: "Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall." Today, Public Eye issues this challenge: Mr Leung Chun-ying, tear down this fence. It is shameful for the leader of a free society to build a fence around its headquarters to keep the people out. But that is exactly what the Leung administration is doing at its headquarters in Tamar. Hong Kong is already a polarised society, and we don't need a fence to exacerbate that. In the shocked aftermath of the September 11 attacks, barricades went up at the White House to keep out terrorists. The people of Hong Kong are not terrorists.


Signing away your rights for a cheap flat is a grave error

Stupidity is not a legal defence. That is why you cannot legislate to protect idiots. Let that be a warning to all of those who stupidly sign away their rights when buying a flat. More than 4,000 have done so. Public Eye does not know if it is legal for developer Cheung Kong to demand that prospective buyers sign away their rights to see its Mont Vert flats in Tai Po before buying them. But, legal or not, something stinks when it makes buyers pay HK$100,000 up front, yet refuses to show them what they are actually buying. It is yet another example of how much our greed-driven property developers can get away with. Cheung Kong says it is unsafe for buyers to view flats because of nearby construction of the development's next phase. That is a feeble excuse, since it can easily halt the work temporarily. Perhaps the developer does not want buyers to see the actual HK$2 million flats, which are barely bigger than a prison cell. Or perhaps it is worried they will have second thoughts after seeing the nearby graves instead of just being told about them. It is sickening that we have reached a stage where people in a supposedly developed society are expected to live in homes akin to prison cells. Something is terribly wrong when thousands clamour to sign away their rights so they can buy such homes.


Timely trains are useless if you can't board them

MTR Corporation boss Jay Walder has boasted about it. And so has the railway company's media relations boss Kendrew Wong, in a letter to this paper. Their boast? MTR trains run on time. In the first half of this year, 99.9 per cent of the trains were on time. We won't argue with that. But to the MTR Corp, we say this: So what if they arrive at their destinations on time? The question is, do these trains get passengers to their destinations on time? Of course not. How can they, if passengers cannot board the over-packed trains? Nowadays, you can forget about boarding the first train that arrives at stations such as Admiralty and Tsim Sha Tsui. You'll be lucky if you can board the third train at these stations during rush hours. On Tuesday last week at 6.30pm, Public Eye had to wait for four trains at Kowloon Tong before we could board a train to Sha Tin. We were 30 minutes late for our appointment. All four trains ahead of us, and the one we boarded, no doubt arrived at their stations on time, but we did not for our appointment. But what the heck: As Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So Kam-leung (who travels in a taxpayer-financed car) says, if you cannot board the first train, wait for the next one, or the next, or the next.


Michael Chugani is a columnist and television show host.