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Archive for the ‘Environment in Hong Kong’ Category


Solution to Hong Kong’s current Political Quagmire

Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

Hong Kong has been descended into chaos and the crisis is deepening with every passing day  and there does not seem to be an end in sight. Carrie Lam single-handedly created this mess by announcing on the 10th June 2019 that she would push through the contraversial extradition bill even though 1 million people took to the streets on the 9th June, 2019. Just yesterday, she announced on 12 November 2019 that it was "wishful thinking" that the protesters will get any of their 5 demands. Her popularity rating is now at 20 and is the lowest that any chief executive has ever been able to achieve. 

Beijing cannot back down now after 25 weeks of unrest because the communist party do not want to appear weak before its people nor to International political watchers; especially when there is an ongoing trade war with the US. The protesters and the police have been battling it out for 25 weeks with a few deaths already and over 3,000 people arrested; so the protesters' are obviously livid and will not back down until their 5 demands are met. The police will not back down now either nor will it allow the government to conduct an independent inquiry.  All sides have suffered too much and there is too proverbial water under the bridge thus the situation has escalated to a level that is very hard for any side to back down. The events have overtaken the administration and evidently Carrie Lam’s government does not have the experience nor the political ability to deal with this crisis.

As an observer of the events unravelling I see with clarity why the crisis is deepening and why Carrie Lam’s administration is woefully incapable of handling the situation. Let us look at her background, she has been a civil servant for the last 40 years with little experience in PR, little contact with the working class and therefore little knowledge of  what life is like at the bottom. 40 years in civil service has left her extremely bureaucratic and must observe with exactitude a process before a decision can be made; her secretary would form a committee, contact each member to arrange a meeting, create an agenda for the meeting, have the meeting and a few resolutions are made, minute the meeting and then perhaps second meeting to finalise the strategy and then get the PR to draft the speech and then the communication is made. This whole process may take 6 weeks. Meanwhile the protests are unravelling at a staggering speed with fluidity that flows like water; one minute they flow to Wong Tai Sin and the next they are in Sai Wan Ho; so everything that Carrie Lam’s administration is responding to is 6 weeks too late. Unfortunately for her, she likes to surround herself with yes men and sycophants who do what she tells them and any voice of dissent will be quickly stamped out.  

The protesters have lost a comrade recently who fell off a parking lot and they are demanding a full investigation and condemnation of the police violence by the university chancellor. So far, neither of these demands have happened. The protesters are becoming ever more radical and they must be appeased otherwise the situation will only get worse before it gets better.

Given this complex web of interest groups each with their own agenda, demands and bottom lines, the situation is becoming increasingly more difficult to untangle with each passing day so what is the solution? What we need now is time. Time to slow down. Time to think. Time to put place strategies to deal with the unrest. Time to heal. We don't have time. And events occurring at an extremely fast pace time is what the government does not have. Although I would like to see it but the only solution is for Carrie Lam to commit suicide; if she commits suicide then it would allow Beijing to find a replacement without losing face domestically or internationally; it would cause the protesters to rejoice and also remove a person from whom they can make their 5 demands so whilst a chief executive is being sought they would probably quieten down giving the government precious time to regroup and re-strategise. Unfortunately, the situation has reached a political impasse and the only way out is for Carrie Lam to be the sacrifical "Lam". 

  

Death of Peter Wong Man-kong (Hong Kong deputy to the NPC)

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

Peter Wong died on 11th March 2019. The blog is saddened by his death and sends condolences to his loved ones. 

He was remembered as a proponent of article 23. What benefits did he stand to gain from his staunch position as a supporter? I guess it garnered him favours from the overlords of Beijing. No self-respecting Hong Kong citizen would want to enact Article 23; only those who stand to gain personally from the enactment of the law would support it. We suspect Peter Wong was one of them. May he rest in peace and anyone else who supports Article 23.

Maybe it was God’s will maybe it was just karma. 

39 Conduit Road - Transparent or Not?

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Henderson Land announced in October 2009 that 24 flats at their newly developed residential site on 39 Conduit Road had just been sold and one of them for a record of over HK$ 70,000/sq. ft..

Until today 29 March, 2010 - only 1 of the 24 transactions have completed, the remainder are yet to be completed. The Development Bureau’s 25 March press release is as follows:-

With regard to the transactions of 24 units of "39 Conduit Road", a
Government spokesman said today (March 25) that the Lands Department had
received the reply to its inquiries from companies of the Henderson Land
Development Co Ltd (the Companies) yesterday (March 24). "The Companies
replied that they had entered into a verbal agreement with the 24
purchasers to extend the completion of the sale and purchase for a period
of between two to four months, therefore no assignment had been executed or
delivered to the Land Registry for registration. Also, the Companies said
that the completion of the sales might be further extended," the spokesman
said. "Given that the Companies had entered into new agreements with
the purchasers verbally and could not be definite about whether the
transactions could eventually be completed, the Lands Department issued
another letter to the Companies today (March 25) requesting further
information. "We will continue to closely monitor whether the
transactions will eventually be completed and whether there is any
anomaly."

In normal sales and purchase of properties, the buyer and seller enter into agreement in writing and the buyer usually pays a deposit to guarantee the purchase and if the buyer fails to complete then he/she will forfeit the deposit paid and if the seller fails to complete then the seller has to return the deposit to the buyer and pay a compensation fee equivalent to the deposit. It is peculiar that no deposits have been forfeited for these transactions and furthermore the standard completion period is 2 months and it seems peculiar that Henderson should only negotiate the extension for completion when pressured by the government to provide answers 5 months after the buyers and Henderson Land entered into contract.

Moreover, it seems peculiar that all 24 buyers bought using British Virgin Island companies or other vehicles whose buyers cannot be looked up, so the identity of the buyers are to-date unknown.

Lastly, according to information from the Companies Registry, different shell companies were used to buy the 24 units. All of them used the same law firm, Lo & Lo Solicitors, also registered in the British Virgin Islands.

Hong Kong’s Mandatory Provident Fund

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

The Mandatory Provident Fund was setup by the Hong Kong government as a means to tackle the aging population problem which indicates that in a few decades time the ratio of retirees to workers will be much greater than it is now. Each worker contributes a mandatory 5% of their monthly salary to the fund and their employer contributes the other 5% to total a 10% in monthly contribution. The logic behind the scheme is understandable and is sound in its thinking.

However, this house believes that the government should not have given control of the funds to corporations; because the funds effectively become capital for banking corporations to invest in any way they deem. Even though the funds are held in vehicles called trust funds the investment decisions are ultimately dictated by corporations. This house believes that the government should have taken the responsibility of managing the fund themselves. The national insurance in the UK which is a similar fund which is managed by the British government and the system works.

This house believes that by appropriating workers' hard earnt cash to corporations it further consolidates the corporations' power in policies that govern Hong Kong. The government is therefore becoming more and more reliant of corporations and less and less able to manage affairs by herself.

Turning off engines at Traffic Lights to curb pollution

Friday, November 16th, 2007

The government recently tabled an initiative to reduce pollution which was for all roadusers to have to switch off their engines whilst waiting at traffic lights….  it must rank as one of the most ludicrous ideas I have ever heard….

Have they thought about how much fuel gets used during the startup of an engine? Have they thought about the wear and tear this would have on cars? Have they thought about the negative impact on traffic this would have?

Pollution in Hong Kong

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

I can't understand why everyone in Hong Kong is asking the government to spearhead initiatives to curb pollution in Hong Kong. It is well-known that ~80% of the pollution comes from the Pearl River Delta region so even if Hong Kong didn't have cars, we would still have serious pollution issues to deal with. Perhaps a more sensible idea would be for the Hong Kong Government to disucss these issues with China. Shouldn't we try to address the real cause?

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