Sunday, 5 June 2011

Hardly Good Examples to Follow

It's quite amusing but also frustrating to see members of the Donald Tsang Yam-kuen administration -- including Mr Bow Tie himself -- get caught doing illegal things.

The latest fiasco is that many senior government officials, including the chief executive have been found to have illegal structures in the residences they own. They include Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Stephen Lam Sui-lung and Secretary for Education Michael Suen Ming-yeung.

Tsang was the latest one to be outed this past week. Turns out the glass panels on his balcony at his MacDonnell Road flat are an illegal structure. What is most amusing is that at first chief executive denied they were illegal, but then did a 180-degree turn.

"To put all things beyond doubt, I have instructed the authorized person to dismantle the existing glass panels as soon as possible in accordance with the Buildings Department's advisory letter, and to follow up with the reconstruction of the verandah of the living room that meets all legal requirements," he said in a statement.

The crux of the problem is that there is no clear policy on illegal structures which people, particularly those living in villages in the New Territories have taken advantage of for years.

Why can't the government get its act together on illegal structures? How difficult is that to figure out? And why not have better monitoring of the situation? This seems pretty straight forward to me.

And more importantly government officials and those considered community and business leaders should make sure they are above board too. If this happened in North America, something like this would have been scrutinized ages ago.

How embarrassing to have senior government leaders break the law. What kind of integrity does this leave them?

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