Reply To: Hong Kong suffers Chronic Air Pollution


The bureaucrat I mentioned above is – I see from letter to SCMP, then some googling – Edward Yau Tang-wah, relatively newly appointed Secretary for the Environment. Once installed, Yau was quick to follow some days of real blue skies with boast about Hong Kong actually achieving some success with reducing air pollution. Hello Edward (avid HK Outdoors reader that you are!) – I wonder if you’ve ventured outside lately? Maybe even now you’re preparing press release to say HK air remains shamefully, obscenely filthy – and even admitting there’s hardly a darn thing you can do about it, not when nearby China, and even Donald Tsang, hell-bent on "progress" through same old, same old factories and concrete and so on. Maybe, though, you are to be pitied a little, Edward, for reading your background it appears you entered the job with little environmental knowledge – and maybe zero experience – as far as I can see. Here is your background info, Mr Edward Yau Tang-wah:

Mr Yau has served in various bureaux and departments, including the former Security Branch, the former City and New Territories Administration, the former Health and Welfare Branch, the former Transport Branch, Correctional Services Department and the former Finance Branch. He was Deputy Director-General of Trade (later renamed Deputy Director-General of Trade and Industry) from January, 1999, to May, 2001, and Director-General of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Washington from May, 2001, to April, 2004. He has been Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower since April, 2004.

Senior Appointments – hardly suggests you know, or care, much about the environment, so your silly statement in July maybe understandable. Though statement perhaps helps explain why you came last in recent poll of how our government people were doing: The real problem, then, perhaps lies above you. Say, with Donald Tsang – who seemed so proud of the Action Blue Sky Campaign, yet is likewise very very quiet on days with grotty air like this. Your appointment, Edward, plus rather low ranking of Environmental portfolio, helps show that environment is not really a government priority: over 2000 people a year may die from filthy air, but most die out of sight, and far out of the government’s mind. This shot from shortly after lunchtime today; was there a cloud in the sky? – hard to tell at the time, with all the crud around. (Maybe some mist, too; again, hard to tell) Now, just started to rain; will clean the air somewhat, before next waves of particulates. airpollution15sept07.jpg