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September 26th, 2014:

E. Quat’s degrees don’t equate

It’s time to take down another legislator for overstating their qualifications. Readers may recall that in 2005, Webb-site asked LegCo’s Committee on Member’s Interests to investigate the degree-mill qualifications of “Dr” Philip Wong Yu-hong. They decided that the matter was outside their jurisdiction, and that the Advisory Guidelines on Matters of Ethics are unenforceable. However, as a result of our complaint, the Committee did eventually amend the guidelines in 2005, so that the current version states:

“A Member should ensure that the personal information (e.g. qualifications) he provides to the Council (including the Legislative Council Secretariat) is correct and true.”

Now, fast forward to 2014, and “Dr” The Honourable Elizabeth Quat Pui Fan, JP of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of HK, claims on her LegCo biography page to be a “Doctor of Philosophy (Management)”. In biographies elsewhere on the internet, in her election biography for the Chief Executive Election Committee, she also claimed a “BBA and MBA in Marketing”. But nowhere could we find a statement of where these qualifications were obtained. So Webb-site wrote to her office, and her assistant replied that the degrees were:

 1993 Bachelor in Business Administration (Greenwich University, Hawaii)
 1994 Master of Business Administration (Greenwich University, Hawaii)
 1996 Doctor of Philosophy, Management (Greenwich University, Hawaii)

Ah yes, Greenwich University, Hawaii. We can tell you a thing or two about that. In no way is it related to the legitimate University of Greenwich (formerly Thames Polytechnic) in England. Greenwich University, Inc. (GUI) was incorporated in Hawaii on 2-Feb-1990. It never received any accreditation from an accreditation body recognised by the US Department of Education. That makes it a degree mill by our measure. Its officers included Marjorie Fishman, Pauline Butler and one “John Walsh of Brannagh” (John Walsh). It operated out of this bungalow at 103 Kapiolani Street, Hilo, Hawaii, then home of Douglass L Capogrossi, President of Greenwich University (yes, that’s Douglass with two esses).

Full Letter

S China trash incinerator still under discussion: government

Sep 14,2014

A controversial trash incinerator project in Huizhou City in south China’s Guangdong Province is still in the discussion stage, local government said on Sunday in response to a mass gathering Saturday.

The planned ecological garden, which will contain an incinerator project, is still being discussed, said the spokesman with the Huizhou Municipal Government.

Rumors claimed the site of the garden had already been decided and the project was under construction, but they were all misinformation, said the spokesman.

More than 1,000 people gathered at a square in the city’s Bolong County on Saturday over concerns about site selection for the project.

Roads were not blocked and there were no extreme behaviors, such as smashing or looting, during the mass gathering, the spokesman said, adding that the crowd dispersed around 11:30 a.m. the same day.

The planned ecological garden will contain trash recycling, landfill, incineration and biological treatment facilities, he said.

A draft of the plan was published in the Huizhou Daily on August 16 and will be posted on the city’s housing and construction bureau website for one month. Specialist agencies are also conducting survey and evaluation work on the project’s environmental implications and geological conditions.

Government authorities will hold a demonstration meeting and hearings with the participation of local residents and experts. The demonstration and final decision will be made in accordance with the law and legal procedures, said the spokesman.

The municipal government of Huizhou will give full attention to the site selection and is soliciting opinions from all sides to make a law-based scientific decision, he added.

He said he hopes the public can remain rational and express opinions and appeals in a peaceful way.

Incinerators are considered the most feasible and effective means for Chinese cities to dispose of massive amounts of garbage.

The Huizhou mass protest follows another protest by hundreds of residents in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province over an incinerator project.

Protests began in April when the Hangzhou municipal government released information about the incinerator. It is a major project for the city, which must find a way to ease pressure on garbage disposal.

Local government authorities promised construction would not start without public support and before going through the legal process.