Even stuffed away on page 3, the stench is overpowering

Pro-democracy publisher Jimmy Lai thinks the Occupy Central people are a bit lame (he noticed!) but funded them anyway. No, it’s not much of a story. But it gives the press an excuse to put some real news about the rottenness of Hong Kong’s political system down among all the stuff about China’s Red Cross hooker-bim and Premier Li Keqiang hiking through the mountains to pull babies from earthquake rubble with his teeth.

The corruption trial of two Sun Hung Kai Properties brother-tycoons and ex-civil servant Rafael Hui gets digging further into the can of worms. The South China Morning Post coyly puts the name in quotes: SHKP’s Kwok brothers considered ‘a’ Norman Chan to be their government insider. The Standard jumps to the obvious assumption that they were talking about ‘the’ Norman, of HK Monetary Authority fame. Which the SCMP amply supports by reporting that the brothers also pondered a person ‘named Joseph Yam’, just like another HKMA guy.

The Standard’s perhaps instinctive angle is to shoe-shine the former Chief Secretary by stressing the Kwoks’ admiration of the strategic thinking that got him where he is today. The SCMP tentatively addresses the real issue. Norman would cost the SHKP brothers a lot (the equivalent of a year’s rent on the 41st floor of Hong Kong Plaza – which gives us an interesting idea of how property tycoons mentally envision the value of things). And the question we obviously all ask is: how did they know this is what Norman would cost as a ‘consultant’? I can think of one answer, and that is they had asked him, and he had given them a price.

If I can think of another, I’ll let you know.

It’s too soul-destroying premature to think about joining more dots. But another question: how’s the Independent Commission Against Corruption getting on with that investigation into former Chief Executive Donald Tsang, intimate buddy of all the above-mentioned paragons of public service?



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