October 21, 2004

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No Regrets

Harbour Fest has been comprehensively covered previously in these pages: here, here and here for starters. Hong Kong's public service may be world class (at least judging by what they are paid) but their investigative skills are either extremely thorough or those of a snail. Nevertheless finally Mike Rowse, the public servant who signed the cheques for Harbour Fest, is facing "disciplinary action". This is a scant 4 months after the Public Accounts Committee recommended such action be taken. In the best tradition of public service "inquiries", however, Mr. Rowse is likely to get nothing worse than a slap on the wrist:

Two civil servants of higher rank than Rowse have been appointed in an inquiry committee, which may subject him to a hearing. A civil servant found guilty of misconduct faces penalties ranging from a reprimand to sacking. But it is believed that Rowse will keep his job.
His bosses will sit in judgement on him, even though if they reprimand him (or worse, fire him) they implicitly condemn their peers as well.

While on things Hong Kong, it turns out the newly re-elected legislator Chim Pui-chung is in trouble with the Securities and Futres Commission for breaching the law. It appears Mr. Chim and his son control 95% of the stock of a publicly listed company called Kanstar, breaching the 75% limit set by the Ordinance. The SFC warned "Shareholders and the public are advised to exercise extreme caution when dealing in the shares [of Kanstar].'' Mr. Chim previously spent one year in jail for forgery.

Mr. Chim represents the financial services sector in the LegCo.

posted by Simon on 10.21.04 at 10:26 AM in the


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