Local Beijing officials getting on top of things

“Oddly, recent elections in the mainland Chinese village of Wukan seemed more democratic than Hong Kong’s.” Yes, it is a bit strange when you put it that way. One key difference is that the people of Wukan took to the streets, fought and overthrew the local leaders to win their rights, while soft Hongkongers sit around and moan – and don’t even do that when distracted by the Hang Seng Index bouncing up 1.7%. Like it did yesterday.

I’ve been selling into this rising market over the last few weeks. My assumption is that, at best, the global money-printing behind hot asset prices must stop, so there’s no upside from here, and, at worst, some sort of Greek or other mayhem is lurking out there and we’re due for a serious fallback. But the truth is that no-one has a clue. Sitting on cash for a while seems stupid, but so does everything else. (Searching for downtown Hong Kong-made honey recently, I even found myself gazing in a property agent’s window and musing about buying a Tai Ping Shan slum walkup to renovate – at HK$10,000 a square foot. Reality struck like a bee sting, or at least I think it was reality.)

It is not only in the field of investment options that everything seems stupid. Disappointed at the lameness of CY Leung’s supposed West Kowloon wrongdoings, aficionados of scandal perk up on hearing the news that the Transylvanian-visaged chief executive candidate might face new conflict-of-interest allegations. One slight problem is that the innuendo comes from tycoon Charles Ho’s Sing Tao media group, which is serving as rival candidate Henry Tang’s smear-spreading cheerleading team for this bizarre semi-fake, semi-real campaign. Another is that it assumes the Chairman of the Council of a Hong Kong university controls anything, when he is just a figurehead.

The titles are stashed away in Chief Executive Donald Tsang’s big box of sweeties for good boys and girls. If you already have a ‘Justice of the Peace’ tag, and a shiny Gold Bauhinia Star medal, and your number-one son has already been given a seat on the Advisory Board Review Advisory Committee, and Sir Bow-Tie wants to give you another pat on the head, you end up chairing a university council. And if everyone hates you, it’ll be a university with a reputation for admitting undergraduates who failed to get into the Sara Beattie Secretarial College – namely CY’s City U.

Meanwhile, a word from Beijing’s Liaison Office over in that ugly building on Des Voeux Road West – the place where Mainland officials are so expertly pulling the strings behind the scenes of our quasi-election. It’s from Han Shuxia, who’s the Director of the Youth Department (which would do United Front work), and it’s about whether the CE ‘election’ on 25 March will result in a stalemate. “It won’t,” she says. At least we can be clear about one thing.

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22 Responses to Local Beijing officials getting on top of things

  1. Alan Freeman says:

    Hi pop pickers!

    Donald’s still number one!




    You always wanted a Guvnor
    I only wanted a job
    I’ve never worked for a living
    How’m I gonna get through?
    How’m I gonna get through?

    I come here looking for bow ties, got to have ’em
    And end up living it up, oh
    Now you left me with pensions, can’t take it
    How’m I gonna get through?
    How’m I gonna get through?

    You bought me flats, You bought me trips
    I read you speeches, you took the piss
    Every day, so many trips
    Such boring speeches, so tell me

    What have I, what have I, what have I done to deserve this?
    What have I, what have I, what have I done to deserve this?

  2. JABB says:

    A year or three ago a book was published called “We Deserve Better”. I’ve long held the view, though, that a better label would have been “We Deserve Everything We Bloody Well Get”. The first paragraph looks like there is at least one other person in the city who also subscribes to my view.

  3. maugrim says:

    Ditto. I’m looking at when to sell for the same reasons and will end up holding cash. However, with low interst rates, will need to think of something and se if the financial world implodes as predicted.

  4. On Da Lo says:

    City U’s not that bad. But it wasn’t that outstanding either.

  5. Tiu Fu Fong says:

    “We deserve better than we deserve” probably captures the ambiguity of the government Hong Kong deserves.

  6. Real Tax Payer says:

    March 25 is Sunday of the Sevens

    I’m certain that quite a few of the CE-lection committee won’t want to miss the semi-finals on sunday afternoon, so they will be sure to settle it in the morning.

    Then we can all either celebrate the EFG ( “Enery’s Finally Gone”) and CDE ( CY’s Done in Enery) in the afternoon, or else drown our sorrows if it’s a case of WATYFFTNFY ( We Are Totally F*****d For The Next Five Years)

  7. Big Al says:


    “We Deserve Better” was written by Hemlock. I’m just waiting for Volume 2, possibly titled “We Got What We Deserved”?

  8. Tony says:

    “it assumes the Chairman of the Council of a Hong Kong university controls anything, when he is just a figurehead.”

    Which only confirms that you don’t know the first thing about CY.

  9. The Regulator says:

    Buy kilogram gold bars. Have been in gold since it was in short pants at USD400 an ounce.

  10. PropertyDeveloper says:

    Only buy stocks when the HKI is below 16K, GBP at < $12, and property at 50-60% of the current level.

  11. HKP says:

    Re: that ugly building on Des Voeux Road West

    aka The Daily Planet

  12. PropertyDeveloper says:

    How about “Shenzhen-on-Sea: A Manifest Destiny”? or “Kowloon Tang”?

  13. JABB says:

    I love the link for the urban honey bees. Re the set up in Mongkok, it would be a bit of a hoot to issue a 10-second warning (“Watch out you dopey buggers, bees coming”) and then hurl 1-2 of the hives off the roof into the crowded shopping streets below.

  14. Stephen says:

    @ RTP

    Well remembered about the ‘selection’ being on the Sunday of the 7’s. I will have far too many Carlsbergs to care who won and will need to wait until the author of this site lets us know on Monday or unless China is going to clarify things sooner … ?

  15. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Stephen

    Gotta get our priorities right ! 🙂

    If CY wins and I get news somehow I think I’ll post a message on the big display board in between the games .

    Something like ” Gottim ! Yeah ! Piss Off ! You’re Out Enery ! ”

    ( Shades of the 12th man / Billy Birmingham taking off Bill Laurie)

  16. Dark Knight says:

    nice to see they always use Chairman of Sing Tao for Charles HO instead of tycoon Chairman of HK Tobacco Co Ltd.
    Strange that there was no tobacco tax increase in the budget and 16 days later Tsang and his wife are staying on tycoon Charles Ho’s yacht in Macau for three days.
    ICAC go get him

    ah yes the trip to Phuket – an 8 seat charter jet costs USD 90,000 HK – Phuket round trip and Tsang paid HKD 7900 for the two of them (what happened to the police minder ? did not travle ?)


  17. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Dark Knight

    There’s a nice little final para in that excellent phuketwan article :

    “Hong Kong, a city of seven million, has one of the world’s highest income gaps between rich and poor. A consistent criticism is that the government colludes with big business.”

  18. But but but… if CY gets in on the 25th March, what will Hongkongers have to protest about come 1st July?

  19. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Jonathan

    Personally I would prefer CY wins so that we do NOT have to march on July 1

    It’s real tough work marching, especially if the weather is hot 🙁

  20. Resigned says:

    And rubber bullets really hurt.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  21. Probably says:

    If the result is to be announced during the sevens can the stadium not put it up on the electronic scoreboard for a bit of crowd reaction. Beijing might then get a heads up before July 1st.

  22. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Probably

    I like it ! If Enery wins I think it will draw more boos than the Aussies and the Frogs together could do

    And if CY wins … an endless cheering WAVE…… ?


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