Just another day

Mutant scarlet fever bacteria stalk the city’s schools, kids drop like flies and, just when it seems it couldn’t get any worse, panic breaks out at the news that the World Health Organisation is going to butt in. The worst part of it is that the colourful-sounding pestilence affects mostly children; in other words, no tourists will die, be imprisoned in a hotel or otherwise be dissuaded from infesting our already overcrowded streets. A disease that doesn’t get rid of tourists is a disease not worth having.

Meanwhile, life-threatening illegal structures (as in entire extra floors) teeter atop village houses, leaving officials with an awkward problem. They can enforce the law, in which case the aboriginal inhabitants of the New Territories will rise up in armed rebellion and charge into Central on buffalo to raze the Legislative Council to the ground, slaughter all adult males and carry bureaucrats’ womenfolk off into the mountains. Or the government can turn a blind eye, and then try to tell, with a straight face, several hundred thousand urban-area households to remove their own unauthorized extensions. A clue – as if one is needed – about which option officials will go for: offending homeowners are invited to turn themselves in by registering their illicit add-ons with the Buildings Gestapo. Don’t all rush.

And as if it doesn’t have enough on its plate, Chief Executive Donald Tsang’s lame duck administration pauses on its limp waddle into the sunset to ban by-elections for democratically elected seats in the Legislative Council. Fundamentally undemocratic in principle, begging to be thrown out by the courts, illogical, with no known international precedent and introduced in a rush with no public consultation, this is obviously being done at Beijing’s behest.  But everyone’s too polite to say. That’s how spooked the central people’s government is by the idea of opposition legislators triggering faux-referendums by resigning mid-term. And just when you thought Constitutional Affairs Secretary Stephen Lam couldn’t possibly look any more weasel-like…

With so much unpleasant weirdness and mayhem going on, our valiant leaders need to divert our attention with a diversionary trick. Behold: the government issues a press release announcing that one of its more financially and environmentally ruinous bureaus is congratulating a fellow public agency – famous for driving the poor out of traditional neighbourhoods so the property cartel can erect ugly, luxury-market mega-developments – for its “people-first, district-based and public participatory approach.” If that doesn’t leave everyone in stunned silence, what will?

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8 Responses to Just another day

  1. Vile Traveller says:

    Don’t knock the URA. It’s doing sterling work in removing any excuse for tourists, shoppers and other loiterers to block the pavements of Wan Chai by knocking down all those alleys filled with diverse shops, eateries and local colour. Walking to work becomes easier every day, even allowing for the odd gang of inept workers struggling with a bit of pipe as they try to manoeuvre into or out of one of the hoarding-lined canyons which have replaced about 50% of the streets in recent years.

  2. Stephen says:

    The press release proving once again the strange make believe world inhabited by our bloated inept Government. Like you, when I think of the URA, I think of the “Masterpiece” that enormous structure in Tsim Sha Tsui built in cahoots with New World. What purpose, other than enriching tycoons & the URA does that building serve?

  3. Vile Traveller says:

    When I think of URA, I think of “Oakhill”, the massive starscraper in a Wanchai back alley. The hoardings used to have “Living the way Nature intended” spalshed across them, complete with images of happy families relaxing in the tops of trees. Don’t tell me they don’t have a sense of humour!

  4. isomoliu says:

    To be fair to the weasel, you should find a more up-to-date photo that fully reflects his weaselocity. The weasel has now upped the ante, declaring that those “unelected” with equal votes could draw straws.

  5. Maugrim says:

    Yeah, poor old Wanchai. Those back market streets are fascinating. I love how the tat in the stores instantly changes to match the relevant Western or Chinese festival happening at the time. I like the Pawn and how they’ve done it up but I miss the dirty old shop that used to be on the ground floor that had dirt cheap samples of good quality western clothes, Armani trousers even. I’m not sure we are better off with a new building that ensconses another Pizza Express. We’re fast becoming like everywhere else.

  6. Vile Traveller says:

    Interestingly, none of those URA redevelopments which triple or quadruple or quintuple floor area ever result in increased traffic.

    According to the Traffic Impact Assessment.

  7. Real tax payer says:

    Am I living in cloud cuckoo land or what ?

    I thought old Tung appointed his “ministers” on a responsibility basis : so they would resign if ( when) they failed.

    Well, in the bad old – which by comparison with today seem like the GOOD old days they did so – Anthony Leung (over something as trivial as car license !) and even much – hated Regina ( give her due respect for being honest , even if you don’t lke her)

    But,now, it seems all we have a is a total bunch of weasels smooching up to Donald lame Duck , so that the more they trangress the law, let alone public decency, the higher they rise in the beurocracy ( never could spell that word).

    Heaven ( or Beijing) help us if Henry takes over . Then the weasels will have to brown nose as well as lick up

  8. Leon says:

    Yes, I too miss those rat and cockroach-infested grotty slums in Wanchai.

    The URA is now also redeveloping some huge 25-storey monstrosities in King’s Road, North Point. Housing slums from the early sixties so ugly, they should have shot the architects. Now we’ll have to live without their charming ambiance, and the way they brought ethnic color and vibrancy to the hood (thanks goodness I never lived there).

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