You would have thought that most people have heard all they want to hear about Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung’s infamous illegal structures and his nefarious plot to hide them and subsequently pretend he didn’t know he had them. But someone rather badly wants you to hear more, and again more.
Much to the delight of headline writers, the spotlight turns from the dastardly trellis and the criminal carport roof to a wall. The wall was not in the right place, so on June 27 the Buildings Department sent CY a letter demanding to know why. With three full days to go before becoming Chief Executive of Hong Kong he should have had ample time to write back with full details. A further three letters followed. CY (or more probably his secretary or lawyer – or maybe wife!) ‘ignored’ them (if you’re the South China Morning Post) or ‘refused to reply’ (according to the Standard).
The world naturally reels in horror at this outrage. Or at least at the impressive output of correspondence from the clearly mega-productive government bureaucracy concerned. But wait! There’s more!
CY said a few days ago that he had no previous experience of hiding/lying about/fixing illegal structures, and this obviously made dealing with the current situation all the more difficult. But… After much rummaging around by someone, a December 2000 Buildings Department press release appears, showing that he removed an unauthorized glass corridor from his former house.
We would naturally like to ask the obvious question: what the hell is a glass corridor exactly? But not before we get to the bottom of CY’s glaring untruth, for which there can only be two explanations:
1. He vividly recalled the glass corridor event 12 years ago, but deliberately lied about it – calculating that no-one would check the old newspaper clippings, and betting that the public would naturally feel more sympathy for an illegal-structures virgin than for a seasoned UBW repeat offender.
2. He forgot.
The Standard’s ‘Mary Ma’ column mentions a rumour that CY’s decision to issue that 14-page explanatory statement on the unauthorized building works saga without holding a press conference followed advice from Beijing’s local Liaison Office. With PR advisors like that, who needs the Standard? But the column also hints that Rita Fan and Paul Tse, mentioned here yesterday, are backing off from their anti-CY stance. Which suggests that the Liaison Office people, after trying their hand at press-relations consultancy, are getting back to what they do best: making slightly menacing phone calls to bring strays into line. From which we can conclude that the cascade of mind-numbing CY Leung illegal-structure outrages may soon run its course, at least so far as the pro-Beijing establishment is concerned.
We will look back at this one day and laugh about it. Especially at the lengthy list of CY’s home’s construction misdemeanours released for our reading pleasure by the Buildings Department yesterday. For example…
The storage cabinet originally placed in the parking space was thus exposed in open air and became an outdoor structure. After taking the measurements of the storage cabinet, it was confirmed that the storage cabinet was an actionable item…
Would you reply to letters from these people?
Note under House 4, second item: “a metal gate erected at the access road near the house”.
Oh my – Metalgate-gate!