Lan Kwai Fong - a world-famous entertainment scene in Hong Kong or our shame? Public Eye took the picture below early one morning last week. Go there any morning and you will see rubbish like this dumped everywhere. It is as if the bars and restaurants are simply dumping their waste onto the streets. Overtired cleaners have to clear it up each morning. It is disgraceful. The government wants to charge for waste disposal. Do it now, starting with Lan Kwai Fong. Dispense with the nonsensical public consultation.
Kindergarten queue chaos could be just the start
If Public Eye had to fight with an invasion of mainland parents for kindergarten places in border districts, we would be livid too. The hundreds of angry Hong Kong parents who protested in Fanling on Sunday had every reason to. We are a developed, wealthy and civilised society. It is outrageous that border-town parents have to line up for days just to get a kindergarten place in their district for their children. But that was exactly what they had to do to compete with mainland parents who started queuing days in advance for application forms. What fuelled local anger more was that mainlanders even paid hundreds of dollars to agents who advertised in Shenzhen to line up for them. The hundreds of thousands of children born here to mainland parents before Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying put a stop to it have the right to local schooling. But let's face some facts even though it is politically incorrect to do so. The mainland parents don't pay Hong Kong taxes. Their children don't live here. They commute across the border. Yet some receive government transport and textbook subsidies. The local parents do pay taxes. Their children do live here. Yet they have to fight for school places in their districts. The wrath of locals has more to do with a feeling of unfairness than prejudice towards mainlanders. Public Eye has warned repeatedly of a build-up of local resentment. The ever-growing flood of mainland tourists has undoubtedly benefited Hong Kong's economy. And experts say the mainland children will compensate for our low birth rate. But where are the government policies to cope with the tourist flood and frenzy for school places? The appalling failure of our government to plan ahead has created a powder keg that could blow at any time.
Beijing tight-lipped over treatment of HK journalists
Smart move by Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Liu Zhenmin. He wisely avoided getting sucked into a dispute between Hong Kong journalists and the Indonesian authorities. Liu simply said Beijing was mindful of the row. Imagine if he had rebuked the Indonesians for cancelling the press passes of local reporters who shouted questions at Philippine President Benigno Aquino at the Bali summit. It would %have reeked of hypocrisy. The mainland's own record is anything but clean in the treatment of Hong Kong journalists.
Michael Chugani is a columnist and TV show host. firstname.lastname@example.org