Monday, 27 February 2012

Who Cares About Us?

After almost seven years in office Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen finally realizes he should be careful with what company he keeps as the leader of Hong Kong.

Yesterday he explained to two local media outlets in detail the trips he had taken on private yachts and jets, as well as his agreement to rent a Shenzhen penthouse from mainland property tycoon Bill Wong Cho-bau when he retires at the end of June.

Tsang denied accusations of collusion, conflict of interest or bribery, but admitted he could have been more careful when accepting the hospitality of tycoons.

"The recent incidents have taught me a lesson, that I have to be more sensitive in politics and be very careful when accepting hospitality," he said on Commercial Radio.

He added he would fully cooperate with any investigation conducted by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

If the ICAC actually starts probing the chief executive is another matter.

Meanwhile Brian Fong Chi-hang, a lecturer in social studies at City University, said there were loopholes in the existing rules requiring politically appointed officials to declare their interests.

"There should be a system in future for the chief executive to make public, regularly, advantages and gifts he receives," Fong said.

How did this all happen in the first place?

After the handover almost 15 years ago, it seems the colonial administrative system was completely thrown out for political reasons and Beijing did not implement enough checks and balances, probably because it never had to set up anything like it on the mainland.

This has led to Tsang, and chief executive candidates Henry Tang Ying-yen and Leung Chun-ying to hide their skeletons in the closet either believing no one would dare expose them, or if they were found out, the fallout would be minimal.

Perhaps 15 years ago we would have accepted the trio's major gaffes as part of the growing pains associated with adjusting to a new political system under Beijing.

But now things have changed and the public no longer tolerates the excesses of the ruling class.

Thanks to a free media that has gone to great lengths (and heights in the case of Tang) to digging up whatever dirt they can on our current and potential political leaders, we are getting a better picture of who they really are.

The public is tired of the charade of choosing the next chief executive and demands complete accountability politically and personally.

Most of us are law-abiding, hard-working citizens who try to save our money to buy extremely expensive flats, pay taxes exorbitant tuition fees for our children and live with smog-filled air everyday.

In return we ask for a leader who has long-term thinking, who is solely focused on the development and future of Hong Kong, cares about its environment and gives a helping hand to those in dire need of financial, social or health benefits.

Instead we have seen the exact opposite for the last 15 years. We've had enough and we are calling for change.

We dare the 1,200-member Election Committee to vote for Tang.

If they choose this wife-cheating, illegal-structure building candidate, this will reveal their selfishness and that the system is completely broken.

How's that for a harmonious society?

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