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[HK Polytechnic University finances under criticism ; Time for more HOS flats? ; Father Mella in concert] (12 Mar 2010)


The management of Hong Kong’s largest technical educational institution, the Polytechnic University, is facing many questions. According to its latest financial report the university had a deficit of $900 million last year, while over a hundred senior staff were still receiving generous annual salaries of $1.8 million to $4.8 million. Half of the loss was incurred by the sale of university investments that included high-risk stocks and derivatives. There are questions about why, in recent years, the institution shifted from more conservative investments.There are still further questions about the 38 companies set up by the university, many of which are in the red.Property prices are on the up again. And most people’s salaries haven’t been rising to keep up. Things have reached a stage where even property developers and bankers, for so long arguing against government intervention in the market, are now saying that maybe it’s time for new Home Ownership Scheme flats to be built. Father Franco Mella was born in Milan, Italy. Thirty five years ago, he came to Hong Kong as a missionary. A firm believer in the socialist ideal, he has lived and worked with the poor, and fought for their rights. During political protests Father Mella often sings with his guitar. He and other demonstration participants write many of the songs. Music activist Lenny Kwok became interested in the story of this Italian priest who has dedicated his life to serving the needy. He wanted to videotape and record Father Mella’s works. Last Friday Lenny organised a mini-concert of Father Mella's works in an industrial building in Kwai Chung.

The Pulse
Publish Date: 
Friday, March 12, 2010
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