'Dear Stakeholders,' From the chairman's statement 2006/07 annual report, Airport Authority Ihave a little warning bell in the back of my head. Others tend not to notice it as it is really quite a small bell but I assure you that I can hear it ring. It rings when I hear or see the directors of any commercial entity use the word 'stakeholder' and it sounds a mighty peal when I see the chairman of a public corporation introduce his annual statement with that word. I shall translate this use of 'stakeholder' for you. It means: 'Tough luck, you suckers who put up all the money for this effort. We are actually running it for the benefit of people who haven't contributed a cent but who sure stand to make a lot money from it if we run it their way.' In my view, you see, Airport Authority chairman Victor Fung Kwok-king should actually have addressed his chairman's statement to 'Dear Donald' to indicate that he knows to whom he ultimately reports. I wouldn't even have minded his addressing it to 'Dear Taxpayers' because it is, in fact, my money (and yours) that built the airport. But when I read 'Dear Stakeholders' what my eyes actually tell me they see, funny eyes that I have, are the words: 'Dear shareholders and directors of Cathay Pacific Airways and other clamouring private interests, we hear your plea, we feel your pain, when you tell us you cannot be happy unless you can use this airport for free.' Let me give you some background here. It was a critical part of the decision to go ahead with building the airport that it should generate a minimum of 5 per cent in annual return on equity. The chart shows you how things actually turned out. As the red bars show, the airport managed only this year to reach the 5 per cent target. Bear in mind that it was always a pretty soft target anyway. Not only is it a good deal less than Cathay Pacific is happy with on its own operations but the equity part entirely excludes money that we, dear fellow taxpayer, put up for some essential airport services, such as the Airport Express. It cost us almost as much as the airport itself and it sabotaged the finances of the MTR Corp to our further loss, but this is another story as it is another accounting dodge that I have in mind today. This one is to be found on page 96 of the Airport Authority's most recent annual report. It is headed Segmental Information and it tells us that HK$1.75 billion of total operating profits of HK$2.64 billion came from non-aeronautical business. You know that gauntlet of rubbish fashion shops you have to traverse to get to your flight these days. That's what's meant by non-aeronautical business. Take it all out, look only at aeronautical business and now calculate the return on equity again. This shows up in the blue bars on the chart. We are nowhere near that 5 per cent target return yet. We are at best at 1.5 per cent. Now I know what airlines will say about this. So what, they will say. It's all airport income, isn't it? Why quibble about what till the money comes through? If the airport can get its return past 5 per cent this way then it has room to cut the fees it charges us. No way, Cathay. No way, BA. Get lost. In the first place, that 5 per cent was a minimum and we have some catching up to do in our returns from the airport. More than that, however, if you think you have the right to dip your fingers into the shopping till at the airport because you bring passengers to the airport, would you agree that the Airport Express and the buses and taxis should be allowed to dip their fingers into it, too? They bring passengers there, too, you know. Are you of the view, perhaps, that our commuter rail services should charge shopkeepers in Tsim Sha Tsui a hefty fee for bringing passengers there? Come on, now. Is that how you think it works? Let's hear you say it then. Get your sticky fingers away from those airport shops. That's a taxpayer investment and we don't have to share it with you. We built you an airport on the understanding that air travel-related fees and charges would give us a 5 per cent return on equity and it's time you started to pay at that level. You may have fooled the airport chairman into thinking that he is answerable to you but you haven't fooled everyone yet.