The Revenge of Tung Continues

Before the handover in 1997, Chinese government officials worried that the dastardly British colonial devils would leave ‘time bombs’ behind. They never specified what form these booby-traps would take, but they seemed to assume the existence of deliberately inbuilt faults within Hong Kong’s physical, institutional or even social structure. They never explained why they thought the UK would want to do such a thing; the implication was that China, still feeling its way in the world of international relations, assumed that all countries behaved like spiteful children.

After the handover, the new rulers did (allegedly, etc) find eavesdropping devices planted within walls at the Tamar military HQ and Government House.* There were dark hints from some mainland officials that outside forces were helping to foster public discontent, and patriotic loyalists occasionally saw puppets of London or Washington among alien elements in the city’s legal system, schools and media. But no time-bombs went off.

*Supposedly the true reason Tung claimed to dislike the feng-shui. There was even a rumour that the Legislative Council was bugged, though it is hard to believe anyone could be so desperate to hear what people were saying there.

However, our first post-reunification leader, Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, bequeathed certain recurring nuisances that never seem to go away. For reasons that probably made sense in his poor, addled mind during his tragic decline in the late 90s and early 2000s, the crop-haired one determined that he should “put Hong Kong on the map.”

“We checked the map sir,” his assistants assured him, “and it seems we’re already on it.” But he wouldn’t take no for an answer. The result was that the Big Lychee became a minefield of munitions destined to be ticking away long after Tofu-for-Brains himself would otherwise have faded from memory.

Thus we had the World Trade Organization Mutant Korean Farmers Rampage of 2007, followed by the wretchedly tiresome East Asian Games – a sub-sub-sub-Olympics attended by various past, present and future tributary states and special administrative regions of China – in 2009. Meanwhile, there is a constant procession into and out of town of anesthesiologists, women’s rights activists, HOFEX, Infocomm Asia and a thousand other conventions and congresses to gum up our transport infrastructure and plod around Wanchai wearing brightly coloured name tags.

And now, to quote yesterday’s South China Morning Post: “Hong Kong has taken another step forward in its quest for sporting glory.” The Asian Games Provisional Bid Committee is born, tasked to advise an eager government that has no doubt already made its mind up about venue availability, accommodation and potential economic costs and (it says) benefits. Oh, and “engage community support.”

What have we done to deserve it? Why do they hate us so much?

The list of people dragged in to sit on this body is the usual caricature, including Anthony Wu of Bauhinia Foundation fame, bosses of the Jockey Club and Cathay Pacific, second-generation scions of various family-owned companies, a few token squash players and wheelchair fencers, plus former Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference delegate Hu Fa-kuang CBE, JP, GBS and his son, Herman Hu Shao-ming.

Hu Senior is 86 and possibly hopes to be selected for the Hong Kong 4 x 400m relay squad – which brings me to the glimmer of good news. This event will take place in 2023. Plenty of time to emigrate, die or something.

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8 Responses to The Revenge of Tung Continues

  1. Maugrim says:

    These frivolities are to civil servants what TV is to a student, ie, for them, a pleasant distraction. Why work for the betterment of HK when there are mascots to design, banners to make, committees to attend, public announcements to produce? There’s 12 years of productivity gone.

  2. Doctor Decathlete says:

    This is wonderful news! I envisage not only a special countdown clock for the games, but we can also hold a design competition for the countdown clock itself; an architecture design competition for an sports-hub-like location for the countdown clock (which must include a glass canopy); a land auction for the said location, which is to incorporate several blocks of luxury apartments; and a design competition for a cable-stayed bridge (or two) to the said countdown-clock-cum-sports-hub. Each competition will award gold medals to the winning tenderer, silver to the second-place etc.

    The Government motto will surely be: “With so many competitions, who needs a competition law?”. Jackie Chan to do the radio and TV adverts.

    I move that the much-neglected Ronald Arculli GBM, GBS, CVO, OBE, JP be selected to serve on the 26-member Countdown Clock Committee.

  3. Not Mike Rowse says:

    I nominate Alan Semen as the token gwai-lo of the Countdown Clock Committee. He can, at a later stage, make a ‘funny’ appearance in a official mascot-costume.

    Perhaps Vagina Ip can fill the position of vice-chairwoman, as the non-government-affiliated-but-not-too-independent-either candidate who can be relied on to trot out at a phone-call’s notice to cut a ribbon, pose with a banner, greet a mainland government official etc etc etc., while still smiling demurely in a Chanel deux-piece for the press photographers.

  4. RiverBoy says:

    They never realy got rid of all the British spooks after 1997.

    Most of them are so obvious and are a joy to watch in action.

    The FCC is stuffed with them.

  5. Norbert Dentressangle Jr says:

    When it comes to big multi-sport events, I hold a contrary position to Mr Hemlock. I love them. I am particularly keen on the competitions tagged on at the end which exclusively feature people with missing body bits (eyes, legs, whatever). Full and semi-contact sports involving wheelchairs are a particular favourite as the potential for carnage is up there with 1970s Indy Car racing.

    In fact so moved am I by the possibility of HK getting the games that tonight I intend to make a detailed plan from which I can then begin bombarding numerous highly-placed people (including The Vag.), as well as our esteemed local rag, outlining my support for the city’s bid.

  6. Donald Tsang says:

    I resent the implication that these Asian Games are nothing more than a pimple on a blip on the radar of the world’s sporting calendar radar. Nothing could be further from the truth – my Under Secretaries have been doing some internet research, and discovered that googling the words “Asian” results in over 9 billion results, many of which (excluding the Chrissie Chau ones, which I have thoroughly checked) are probably games related. Clearly this is an even that gets people talking. Indeed, having been something of a junior athlete mysef (they didn’t call me ‘ping pong don’ for nothing), I know the value of true competition when I see it (except in the property development sector, of course). These games will be glorious – and I will continue exercising my right hand under the office desk in preparation for the ribbon cutting. This, and that plaque they’ve promised me in the lobby of 39 Conduit Road, will be my great legacy! Hu will be so proud!

  7. The Prodigal Son says:

    One needs to get SOME use out of HK Stadium after the zoning laws were so ridiculously interpreted as to prohibit the regular functions of a large entertainment venue.

    If a solution can be reached by means of plumbing billions of dollars from the public purse directly into the South China Sea then all the better!

  8. Not Mike Rowse says:

    Hu ?

    Chrissie Chau, Chrissie Chau……(eyes glazing over)

    Whatever happened to Veronica Yip ?

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