Which Greenwich?

As what has not been one of Hong Kong’s happier weeks draws to a close, a bit of scurrilous amusement is in order. We have been sitting on the edge of our seat waiting for the South China Morning Post to pick up on the next chapter in the fascinating story of Gerald Chow’s sons, the US$2 million donations and the failure to get into Harvard (which even earns a spot on YouTube).

The latest, as of a week ago, is that the Chows asked the court to put under seal (basically bar) documents about the allegedly improper academic assistance Gerald received. The consultant he is suing, Mark Zimny, seems to have hoped to use this material to bring Chow’s integrity into doubt. An intriguing twist is that a certain body of people exists out there (mainly in the US) who detest Zimny; to them, Chow is a hero for suing. Two sides to every story, and all that. Anyway, it seems that over in SCMP-Land, Chow’s lawyer has become involved, and the exclusive blockbuster scoop might take a bit longer.

That wasn’t scurrilous amusement, by the way – it was murk. This is scurrilous amusement…

The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment Etc of Hong Kong has a legislator called Dr Elizabeth Quat JP, who represents New Territories East. She would, in my opinion, look rather fetching with a stethoscope. But before you go running off to show her those strange spots on your tongue, note her full title on her Legislative Council bio: Doctor of Philosophy (Management).

Normally, we would shrug and move on. But this is a lawmaker, a sitter on many important committees and panels, and a fine upstanding member of our establishment. And we just can’t stop ourselves from asking: where did the doctorate come from?

Her Election Committee Sub-Sector bloc bio states Greenwich University (as an aside: fellow member, tycoon and scion Richard Li suffered academic confusion problems). A quick Google search shows this to be a genuine and respectable institution in the London district of ‘Mean Time’ fame. But not so fast. A lone voice in the world of Twitter reports a suspicion that the degree comes from a university of that name in, of all places Pakistan. Which indeed exists. Her Wikipedia entry supports this and refers to the place as a ‘degree mill’ (it also says that ‘EQ’, as she likes to call herself, is a certified scuba diving instructor – which somehow sounds more impressive than a DPhil, not to say more believable).

However, the plot thickens. A seriously non-accredited Greenwich University has at some stage been based in Norfolk Island, the former penal colony somewhere out near Australia. It caused a fuss down there, and attracts plentiful amounts of snark. Its Wikipedia page names EQ – and EQ alone – under Notable Alumni, and calls the institution ‘controversial’.

Needless to say, anyone can edit or amend a Wikipedia entry, or send out a Tweet, so these links prove nothing. Maybe we will never find out.

I declare the weekend open with a sight to make hearts melt: the reckless, the misguided, the Byronic, the starry-eyed, the fearless, the steadfast, the lion-hearted, the visionary, the common people-turned-heroes… What can I say – the bunch, now appearing in court, who invaded the PLA HQ at Tamar…

Gold Bauhinia Stars. Now.

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15 Responses to Which Greenwich?

  1. PCC says:

    I thought sure you were going to reference the “Paul Chan nobbled my son’s application to Harvard” shock horror libel story.

  2. When a dirtball sues a scumbag, which one is in the right? (Legal notice – for the avoidance of doubt, this is a purely hypothetical question not intended to refer to any real dirtball or scumbag, living or dead.)

  3. Ivor Towers says:

    Didn’t a Dr Quat appear in a Monty Python sketch? Something about the Dr being a person of “extraordinary medical skill who, in no time at all, had completely removed my wife’s knickers”.

  4. maugrim says:

    Im not sure, sadly, that any such information in HK would be considered as being ‘shaming’. Its either a Doctorate from a cough, third world country or one given as an honorary award. In either case, it doesn’t stop some from developing ‘airs and graces’. As to the 3 in the picture, it gladdens my heart to see them have the ability to make our Government froth. Canto pop stars? Nah, I’d make these three poster boys and girl for your youth, the slogan, ‘you don’t need a Doctorate to be special’. For some reason I’m humming ‘see what I got, I got a hell of a Quat’.

  5. @Ivor Towers – It’s on the “Matching Tie and Handkerchief” LP.

  6. Oneleggoalie says:

    Here’s hoping someone hits Mr. Hairy Upper Lip Tsang with the hard part of an egg…coz Oneleg hears he has the job for life.

  7. reductio says:

    “The Barrack Four”. Great name for a rock band.

  8. Undisgestive Biscuits says:

    Greenwich Mean Time University isn’t that hot – a mate of mine teaches there. In fact, there’s probably not that much difference between it and the one in Pakiland. Actually, it suggests to me that the good lady doctor is a lot dim – if you are going to go for a flaky-pastry PhD, why not go for one with a reasonable brand name stamped on the top of the certificate?

  9. Stephen says:

    By chance is one of your readers located in NT East and perhaps is represented by the good Doctor Quat. Perhaps said resident could write to Dr. Quat and ask her to clarify her qualifications and copy in the Apple Daily, if indeed, she is doing a Richard Li. Shouldn’t this be something rival political parties should be doing to their adversaries, and leaking to the press, like they do in grown up jurisdictions, instead of surfing for porn.

    But it goes to the political acumen of politicians here. Moustache man pens another stale, uninspired budget. But he doesn’t know, and is completely clueless on the political temperature and hot spots out there. It’s coming to a head nicely, nomination committees, press self-censorship and occupy central. Now does the CCP or CY have the political acumen to diffuse and fix?

  10. maugrim says:

    Stephen, that particular stone falls far further and wider than Ms. Quat I can assure you.

  11. Scoff Law says:

    I’d like to put Dr on my name card.

    Anyone have any idea how much one of these apparently officially sanctioned Dr degrees go for?

  12. Certs R Us says:

    @Scoff Law
    take your pick


    be sure to show us how it comes out, including a credible backstory
    on your years of deprivation while slaving over your doctorate

  13. PCC says:

    @Scoff Law

    Your prayers have been answered!

    Simply go to our website PHDsRUS and you too can be a Doctor! Non-believers in Climate Change are welcome! No practical knowledge or messy dissection of frogs necessary! Credit cards, PayPal and Octopus cards accepted. Just HK$1,500. Why pay more? Members of certified victimized minorities receive a 20% discount! Act now and you’ll receive a set of Ginzu steak knives absolutely FREE! What are you waiting for? Act now!

  14. tummy says:

    Quat? Lovely name, as in, “you have a beautiful quat!”

  15. @PCC – you are supposed to say that the degree will be awarded “on the basis of your life experience”, in case anyone thinks it’s not deserved.

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