Monday, 19 June 2017

Greg So: Trying to Leave on Good Terms -- Not

Commerce minister Greg So when he announced HKTV did not get a license
Outgoing Commerce and Economic Development minister Greg So Kam-leung has revealed that HKTV should have gotten a free-to-air license four years ago, and that he almost cried when when he had to announce the government's "collective decision" which resulted in 300 people in the broadcast industry out of work.

In 2013, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and his advisers rejected the application by outspoken businessman Ricky Wong Wai-kay for the broadcast license due to a "basket of factors" -- which are still unknown to this day.

So claims at the time he felt HKTV should have a TV license
"At the time I suggested three licenses should be granted because I believe in competition," So said on a RTHK program on Monday. Only i-Cable's Fantastic TV and PCCW's HK Television Entertainment Company were awarded licenses.

"I tried my best to convince the members at the Executive Council meeting, but I also had to respect the collective decision," he added. "I was trying not to cry when announcing the news [as some 300 people would lose their jobs]," he said.

Are we supposed to feel sympathy for So? Does he want the public to think he was the only rational person in the room but no one was listening or that he was out-voted?

When he was asked about his feelings over implementing a decision he did not believe in, So said: "It was part of my responsibilities... I had to explain to the public. This is the spirit of accountability system."

How about more like, I had to go along with it, otherwise I'd probably be sacked?

Why was So not questioned about the food truck debacle?
So also talked about Uber and its ongoing legalization problems in Hong Kong. He suggested that perhaps the government's regulations were perhaps not accommodating enough for this sharing economy trend.

"If its business model does not contradict the objectives behind our legislation, shouldn't we consider amending the law to allow better development for a sharing economy?" he asked.

Guess that hot potato will be passed onto chief executive-elect Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's administration to handle come July 1.

However, during the RTHK program, did no one challenge So on the abysmal failure of the food truck initiative? Last week the government finally admitted that perhaps some of the locations weren't good for customers. Hello?! We could have told you that!

He should have been raked over the coals for this half-baked idea that got worse and worse.

But perhaps this topic was one he insisted on refusing to talk about, though he was keen on getting the sympathy vote from the public.

Sorry Mr So -- can't have it both ways.

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