Exploratory vessels a new milestone in burning saga
Although government plans to build a monster incinerator in the environs of Shek Kwu Chau have officially been shelved, preparatory work continues.
Concerned citizens have noticed the presence of a number of vessels at work off the island. It turns out they are engaged in site investigation work involving the drilling of bore holes according to a Marine Department notice dated July 11, several months after the decision to shelve the project.
The assumption has always been that with the shelving of the project and the arrival of wiser heads at the Environmental Protection Department, it was doomed. The site investigation work would seem to indicate that we should not necessarily draw that conclusion.
Another possible conclusion is that the government is saying one thing and doing another. The incinerator saga reaches another interesting point this week with a judicial review of the environmental impact assessment of the project starting on Wednesday.
One argument likely to be raised is that there has been a failure of natural justice in approving the EIA because the Director of Environmental Protection acted both as the proposer and regulator of the project. Environmental groups have been pointing out this conflict of interest since the posts were merged in 2005.
It's thought that the judicial review is likely to result in a ruling in a month or so, and whatever that may be, there is likely to be an appeal because of the significance of the issue - failure of natural justice - which will need to be resolved at a higher level.
De Tocqueville and China
The reading material of the mainland's leaders is sometimes a source of interest for observers of the political scene. Premier Wen Jiabao triggered interest in Marcus Aurelius's Meditation after quoting it in two speeches, Xinhua reports.
The latest book of interest is French political thinker Alexis De Tocqueville's The Old Regime and the Revolution, published in 1856. It has been mentioned on a number of popular blogs in the mainland such as economist Hua Sheng's.
"Tocqueville tries to prove that if social reforms are not in lock-step with economic reforms, a 'middle income trap' could cause a real crisis," economist Xu Xiaonian wrote on Weibo. It is De Tocqueville's call for continuous reform that appears to have struck a chord with netizens.
The Hong Kong charity Enlighten-Action for Epilepsy has come up with a new wheeze for encouraging people to donate money on a regular basis.
Together with Total Loyalty Company, it has launched a benefits' card called Purple Town, since purple is the colour adopted by the group to highlight events such as Purple Day - the global day of epilepsy awareness. The charity aims to increase awareness of epilepsy and to reduce the stigma associated with it, and to provide support for those, especially children, who suffer from the condition.
There are almost 65,000 people with epilepsy in Hong Kong and more than 50 million worldwide. People who agree to donate HK$188 a month are entitled to the card and discounts such as travel, health and beauty offers, and restaurant discounts.
For information visit: www. purpletown.myrewards.hk .
Those of you who watch TVB news may be curious as to why newsreader Chris Lincoln and his colleague Etienne Lamy-Smith have suddenly started growing moustaches. Indeed, they are not the only ones to do so in Hong Kong this month.
This is because they are participating in "Movember", an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of prostate cancer and other male cancer initiatives.
Movember hopes to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatment, and ultimately reduce preventable deaths. Besides an annual check-up, the Movember Foundation encourages men to be aware of family history of cancer.
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