Saturday, January 14, 2012

Facelift consultation

I had a colleague who used to say: "Give me your honest opinion" when what he really meant was: "Tell me how wonderful I am."

Government consultations in Hong Kong always feel like that. The organisers don't really want to hear your honest opinion; they want you to tell them how good their plans are.

At today's public consultation on Mui Wo's facelift, they spread out all these print-outs in glorious colour and basically wanted to know (a) or (b). It was like a multiple-choice exam in school – which one of our amazing ideas do you think is more amazing? They didn't want an essay on what Mui Wo people really thought.

People were asking: "Why are you 'beautifying' the bit of Mui Wo that has already had a facelife rather than do real facelifts on the ugly bits – ie everything to the left of the ferry pier like the lorry park and... oh yes, the town itself."

The answer: "Oh this is Phase I." A Phase I that seems to have gone on for five years while everywhere else falls into disrepair.

After half an hour, I left. I had more effective ways to spend my Saturday afternoon... such as hang out the clothes and update this blog.

Buffalo Wilbur, bless his cotton socks, is soldiering on and hoping to make a difference.

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