New lawmakers’ utter uselessness exposed

scmp-doubtssurf

The South China Morning Post claims that ‘doubts are surfacing’ over the abilities of Hong Kong’s newly elected greenhorn young-gun legislators to do their job. The paper invites readers to compare child-radical Nathan Law (23) with seasoned mature grown-up Abraham Razack (71) – forgetting perhaps that these readers are the same voters who elected Nathan not least out of revulsion for the property cartel Razack represents.

Four years ago, the best the old-guard opposition lawmakers could do was focus obsessively on new Chief Executive CY Leung’s illegal garden trellis. Today, before even starting to collect their Legislative Council salaries, some of the new Council members are savaging the CE over apparent collusion with the New Territories thugocracy.

Newly elected legislator Eddie Chu accuses the government (and CY personally) of doing a deal with the Heung Yee Kuk to let rural crooks continue occupying public land illegally, while evicting nearby villagers who lack powerful connections. Thus, to ensure that local landlords continue making money, officials reduce planned scmp-petitionpublic-housing supply in the area from 17,000 to 4,000 units. These are specific accusations, with circumstantial evidence – not least the death threats Eddie Chu received from the second he convincingly won his Legco seat, plus bureaucrats’ predictably desperate squirming. It all squares with longstanding suspicions/assumptions about ties between the Kuk, triads and officials (the Standard’s editorial refreshes our memories).

The timing couldn’t be better, or worse, according to taste. A watchdog has just criticized bureaucrats for (essentially) ignoring countless cases in which people are illegally occupying and profiting from public land. The government is planning to clear tenants from illegal housing in old factory buildings without providing alternative shelter. And property prices are spiking up again – with Henderson offering 163-sq-ft apartments for HK$3.9 million. CY Leung of course came into office promising to fix the housing problem.

The whole mess confirms the Heung Yee Kuk as the grubby mafia it is. And it puts government supporters in their usual impossible position. (Pro-Beijing legislators seem to be stalling – which means awaiting instructions from their Communist Party minders in the Liaison Office.)

Sensitive timing; an old-style faction of power-brokers suddenly looking friendless; and the loyalist camp uncertain over which side to take. It feels eerily similar to Henry Tang’s basement scandal, which pulled the plug on the tycoons’ preferred Chief Executive while leaving United Front shoe-shiners in the lurch.

As then, no-one can tell what exactly is going on behind the scenes (in terms of, say, Liaison Office-Beijing squabbling). But one difference is that new opposition lawmakers are gutsy prime movers in publicizing what looks like a real outrage. Can’t imagine why the SCMP doubts their competence.

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8 Responses to New lawmakers’ utter uselessness exposed

  1. WTF says:

    Razack was given a slot on ESF’s governance board to represent the interests of property developers (and to collect delayed benefit commissions for Eddie Ng and the Baptist crew). ESF’s new chairwoman apparently is rolling in personal cash, with flash new car, nice jewellery, so that when ESF starts rolling out it’s new for profit schools, they will all be located within new property developments.

    Meanwhile, Eddie keeps doing his best to undermine local parents confidence in the government’s public education schools. This will help drive up demand for private for profit education. Latest death by a thousand cuts effort here: http://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news.php?id=174133

  2. Cassowary says:

    The SCMP started handwringing about filibusters and anarchy and flying bananas in the Legco chamber the day after the election. What else is new?

  3. Stephen says:

    @WTF,

    Perhaps Razack was given a seat on the board to “advise” the ESF on their residential property developments – seem to recall there was one in Chung Hom Kok and another in Fotan ? Afterall the redevelopment of Island School in Mid levels is not going to be cheap ?

  4. Fred Nerk says:

    A propos of absolutely nothing at all, is David Akers-Jones still alive and hence capable of issuing writs?

  5. Enid Fenby says:

    Eric Berne was right. The real sign of ageing is when men discuss money instead of girls at the dinner table. Social media are of course modern dinner tables, don’t you think?

    Razack looks like a flabby blancmange. His second chin has given up defining its own contours. It just blends with the upper gut. Will obviously peg out before Xmas.

  6. LRE says:

    @WTF
    The association said the bureau announced the measure in a footnote to an accounting document “Expanded Operating Expenses Block Grant User Guideline” issued last month.

    You have to love the delicious irony there: finding out that the Government has removed the Extensive Reading Scheme Grant evidently required extensive reading. No wonder the government is trying to stamp it out!

  7. Laguna Lurker says:

    Reminiscent of the opening scene of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:

    Prosser: But the plans were on display.
    Arthur Dent: On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar.
    Prosser: That’s the display department.
    Arthur Dent: With a torch.
    Prosser: The lights had probably gone.
    Arthur Dent: So had the stairs.
    Prosser: But you did see the notice, didn’t you?
    Arthur Dent: Oh, yes. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign outside the door saying “Beware of the Leopard.” Ever thought of going into advertising?

  8. Old Newcomer says:

    To be fair, the SCMP article was focused mainly on legislators’ role in scrutinising legislation – a task which attracts less publicity than banana-throwing but arguably has far more real impact on the public. I look forward to the new young intake stirring up more of the government’s hitherto hidden excrement, but I wonder if they have the patience required to go through new laws line by line to find where fresh hiding places are being constructed for it.

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