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.
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…