More murk

Is the South African guy with no legs who shot the blonde woman and cries on the radio still around, or is that over now? With distractions like the Malaysian airliner vanishing and the Korean ferry sinking, it’s hard to keep up with all the mayhem. And now some idiot announces the most Earth-like planet yet discovered, as if the universe really needs another.

Closer to home, things just seem to get murkier. We are still trying to get our heads around the Mega Events Fund, which spends money on entertainments no-one would otherwise pay for in order to attract tourists we don’t need. Its Dragon and Lion Dance Festival Preparatory Committee is suspected of hiring dance teams run by its own members, who also belong to the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment Etc of Hong Kong. To compound the sin of glaring conflict of interests, we have wretchedly bad taste – the occasion having the theme of ‘Happy Buddha’ and featuring ‘over 530 mascots of auspicious beasts’. (In fairness to the committee’s pro-Communist sleazebags, that looks like the work of civil servants.) Is there any connection between the performers who got the job and the DAB-linked Yuen Long dragon/lion dance troupe that provided (admittedly weedy-looking) triad thugs to ‘support’ Chief Executive CY Leung at his town hall meeting last year?

The Independent Commission Against Corruption is investigating. But it pauses to hurriedly airbrush one of its advisors out of the history books and carry on as if nothing had happened in the hope that no-one will notice. One minute state-owned China Resources Chairman Song Lin is an upstanding businessman heading up the anti-graft organization’s HK Ethics Advisory Committee, the next minute the Chinese Communist Party’s own investigators have terminated the guy for all-round depravity of the billion-Yuan, money-laundering-mistress variety. The ICAC’s attempts to pretend they never knew him are hilariously pathetic.

We are left with more questions. What on earth is the HK Ethics Advisory Committee? It sounds like it should have Confucian scholars, professors of philosophy or at least a former judge or two. In fact, it comprises the city’s half-dozen main shoe-shining chambers of commerce, representing all our favourite cartels, colluders and sweat-shop owners, and of course locally based Mainland enterprises. Who chose Song Lin as its figurehead and – more to the point – why? Was it to give him face, or to flatter authorities in Beijing? Or was the gesture aimed at us, to make us think that bosses of Beijing-owned companies are the pinnacle of morality and virtue? It doesn’t seem to have worked.

What do the Mega Events Fund and HK Ethics Advisory Committee have in common? They have no reason to exist. One way or other, they are costing us money. Their members are selected from the shallow pool of loyalists and yes-men – 530 mascots of auspicious beasts, indeed – as a pat on the head rather than in the expectation that they will do anything useful. And they remind us, in case we need it, that people connected with and purportedly dedicated to the Communist cause apparently can’t stop themselves from cheating and bribing.


This weekend’s project was home-made cheese (Indian-style paneer). Ludicrously quick and easy: bring milk just to boil, add some lemon juice, stir for a few minutes, then strain through a cloth. Fries well for dal. Hand-crafted! Artisanal! Etc!

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