Political camps need to tune out 'interference'
What is interference and what is not? Let's try to nail that down now that a caustic verbal war has erupted over it. Was it inviting foreign interference when democracy camp elders Martin Lee Chu-ming and Anson Chan Fang On-sang shot off to the United States to seek American help in our fight for universal suffrage? Absolutely, the central government snarled. Lee and Chan dismissed the accusation as gibberish. Was it interference in our local affairs when liaison office boss Zhang Xiaoming raised HK$25 million for the Beijing-loyalist Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong at its anniversary dinner? Definitely, Lee screamed. Nonsense, the DAB replied.
So to Lee, it is not interference to seek US help on Hong Kong democracy but it is for the DAB to seek mainland China's help to raise funds. To the DAB, it is not meddling to seek mainland help to raise funds but it is for Lee to seek US help on democracy. Was it meddling in mainland affairs when legislator "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung brought a suitcase stuffed with June 4, 1989, material to Shanghai? Of course, the mainland lectured. Rubbish, the democracy camp retorted. If mainland legislators brought suitcases of Communist Party material here, the democracy camp would cry interference. These are the two sides trying to find common ground on universal suffrage. Who are they kidding?
Tunnelgate: time to dig deep for the truth on delay
A sophisticated tunnel-boring machine goes kaput from rain. That delays a HK$67 billion high-speed railway by nine months. A dazed transport minister admits he is clueless about it all. Other railway board members sheepishly confirm ignorance. Railway officers explain the fiasco with words that sound more like lies than truths. When exposed as speaking with a forked tongue, they circle the wagons and clam up. Frankly, Public Eye cannot decide if we should call this a comedy or cover-up. Let's call it Tunnelgate.
We now have a tunnel to nowhere, a multimillion-dollar tunnelling machine inexplicably exposed to flooding, a high-speed railway that's stuck in the station, billions in wasted dollars, and the truth trapped behind zipped lips. When did Secretary for Transport and Housing Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung know about the delay and what did he know? Why did he claim surprise when he and two other government officials sit on the MTR Corporation board? Why did other non-railway board members claim ignorance, too? Were they all asleep at the wheel or did MTR officials hide the truth from them? Why did the MTR wait weeks after the March 30 black rainstorm to blame it for the tunnelling machine breaking down? Why did Cheung and MTR officials deny it when the media reported last year that there would be a delay? Are MTR officials using the rain to cover up a delay they have known for about a year?
We want answers. Where are you, Woodward and Bernstein?
'Long Hair' v John Tsang: battle of the wimps
Martial-arts black belt Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah has mocked Leung Kwok-hung as a coward who bullies those he knows will not fight back. The taunt came after Leung hurled "hell money" for the dead last Wednesday at Tsang, who responded with a weak "Go away". Come on, guys (should we say wimps?), show us what you're made of. Tsang's kung fu versus Long Hair's bananas. May the best wimp win.
Michael Chugani is a columnist and television show host. firstname.lastname@example.org