New puzzle: Tang immortalized in tower block of nasty thin apartments

Before being edited, the Hemlock Time Out HK feature on evil, grasping tycoons mentioned each of the Big Lychee’s four big property kings’ ‘silliest development name’. In truth, they were plucked at random; nearly all real estate projects have ridiculous branding. For the curious, they were…

  • Cheung Kong’s Li Ka-shing: Vista Paradiso (Ma On Shan)
  • SHKP’s Kwok brothers: Yoho Midtown (Yuen Long)
  • Henderson’s Lee Shau-kee: La Botanica (Xian)
  • New World’s Cheng Yu-tung: Chateau Regalia (Beijing)

Occasionally, new towers’ names look not so much drug-induced as just unfortunate. You are cordially invited to a launch party this Thursday to celebrate this phenomenon. “Where the Good Life Begins … the Ultimate in Lifestyle … Living it up with The Henry”. Serviced apartments; way down Des Voeux Road West.

And now a word from our sponsors: The Bow-Tie Privilege Card, courtesy of RTHK’s Steve James. Which brings us rather neatly to the continuing saga over Chief Executive Donald Tsang’s links with tycoons.

The latest episode takes a further twist concerning a members-only 4,000 sq ft luxury suite at a Macau casino, apparently booked by Sir Bow-Tie’s then-student son. The deal, we are told, is that you either gamble several million, in which case the place is free, or you pay HK$20,000 a night. Donald’s ‘palling around’ with gambling moguls meanwhile gets a mention in CasinoLeaks Macau, a (Nevada labour union-funded) website aiming to highlight the sleaziness of Las Vegas’s main global rival. We can only sigh at the tackiness of it all.

These people are NOKD: the more unpolished, unsavory end of the business community. The New York Times says that “a small circle of tycoons now runs top levels of government” in Hong Kong, yet Donald’s jet-owning friends are the comparative riffraff who are not in that circle. Didn’t he realize why they were so nice to him? Maybe his humble origins are coming back to haunt him. It’s hard to imagine former Chief Secretary Anson Chan getting carried away with the idea of a ride in Charles Ho’s yacht. Dame Conscience, with her oldish money and arty relatives, would have put down the phone with distaste and dabbed some Pak Fah Yeow onto her cheeks with an understated silk handkerchief to recompose herself. Donald says “ooh yes” and ends up wearing a Joseph Lau-style, tight, polo-neck sweater like some thug’s boss in a movie based in Shamshuipo.

And so a final intriguing word which may or may not pertain to the selection of Donald’s successor from property agents Savills: “The Henry redefines lifestyle accommodations in the City.” Not before the Buildings Department has issued a permit, we hope.

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19 Responses to New puzzle: Tang immortalized in tower block of nasty thin apartments

  1. maugrim says:

    The descriptions of Tang’s choice of mufti and Mrs. Chan’s probable reaction are possibly closer to the bone than we might think and show how low our leadership has sunk. I nearly spat out my dinner last night when I heard Henry Tang seriously intone that C.Y. Leung was really the rich one (implying some sort of silver spoon) whereas he had used his hard work and acumen in developing a textile and some other sort of business. Quite an effrontery eh?

  2. DaSiuYan says:

    Rather doubt that Anson carries a vial of Pak Fa Yauh in her not-from-Milan-Station handbag. More likely a spritzer of Chanel No. 5 or Joy. Otherwise, your imagined scenario is spot on.

  3. Real Tax Payer says:

    Just did a quick google on H tang ( JP)

    Amazing what is there : the quote below came from the Gulf News of all all places – so even in the Arabian Gulf they have heard of enery’s pleasure cellar !


    Washington had Watergate, Italy Bunga Bunga-gate, London Murdoch-gate. Now, Hong Kong brings us Basement-gate.
    It’s a scandal that many of us outside the city of 7 million might find hard to fathom. Henry Tang, the favourite to be Hong Kong’s next leader, has an illegal basement.
    In my mind, that’s only a problem if you are storing drugs, trafficking humans or evading taxes. For Hong Kong residents squeezed by surging rents and living costs, Tang’s underground eyrie, which he built without a government permit, is outrageous enough.
    Even as poverty in Hong Kong rises, Tang’s hidden wonderland contains a Japanese-style sauna, well-stocked wine cellar, dance studio and theatre, according to local media. Tang’s claims that it’s just a storage space — one twice the size of more than 90 per cent of private homes in the city — and that it’s all his wife’s fault didn’t help.

  4. Tiu Fu Fong says:

    In other news, Singapore has finally legislated that maids must get a day off each week, albeit not until 2013 and only for new hires and those renewing their work visas. I can only imagine the pangs of kiasu racking the little island as a result. Who will carry their sons’ army kit bags now?

  5. @RTP

    You Googled for Henry Tang? Can’t you find enough hereabouts? You are in danger of labelled a stalker, my friend…..

  6. Big Al says:

    Building names in Hong Kong must be the most ridiculous on the planet. Hemlock’s abode of Perpetual Opulence Mansions is said in jest, but reality is a lot funnier …

    Particularly those beginning with “The …” (e.g. The Ventris, The Notting Hill, The Ellipsis, etc.) or, worse still, “Le …” (e.g. Le Billionaire). Possibly the worst I know is Nob Hill (or even The Belcher’s). I mean, come on, could you actually use that as your address? Then we have those that excel in irony, such as “The Grandeur” with an expansive GFA of 620sqft (approx 12sqft saleable).

    If only developers put as much effort into the design of their rabbit hutches as they do coming up with shite names … I’m just waiting for “Le Pretention” then I’m signing up! Oui, moi!

  7. PropertyDeveloper says:

    Judging from the photo, the Henry is lost in pollution, mean and narrow, hiding secrets behind closed curtains and unable to stand on its own.

    Sorry to hear about Time Out’s cutting of your piece: they must be just as frightened of the developers, who are apparently illiterate in 4 languages, as the Hooray Henry and the Transylvanian are.

  8. Mary Hinge says:

    The Henry. Tall, well-appointed, centrally located, but inward-looking, internally congested and just plain wrong on so many levels (basement included).

  9. Just Curious says:

    Does anyone out there know if Queen Silk Scarf has ever been on the receiving end of a sex-toy? I very much doubt that she has, but I suppose it is not impossible.

  10. Real Tax Payer says:

    More Google stalks on h tang (jp)

    Amazing what is there.

    This is taken from the Wikipedia entry on tang

    Read riight through to the very the last sentence . This tang “man” sure likes to shift the blame to others.

    ( There’s also some superb fake pics on the Time Out website – hilarious )

    Tang was involved in the Harbour Fest controversy as Chairman of the Economic Relaunch Strategy Group responsible for pushing ahead with the plan to spend $100 million to revive the economy after SARS, and said that he should be held responsible. Tang had said that although Mike Rowse, a senior civil servant, had actually signed the contract, Rowse as such was not required to be held politically responsible.[11] However, during a Working Group meeting on 31 October, 2003 and during an independent inquiry in May 2004, Tang allegedly said Rowse had not acted improperly and that there had been no irregularity in the implementation of the event.[12] Tang had also said that all parties had under-estimated the complexity of the event and may have been too ambitious in organising it in such a short timespan. He later withdrew the remark: just before a government inquiry opened on November 2004, Tang requested the ERWG minutes be deleted.[12] Internal governmental disciplinary process fined Rowse for misconduct, but a High Court judge quashed the government ruling on 4 July 2008. Political commentator Frank Ching pointed to the huge credibility gap of the government. He noted that the attempt of Tang to shift political responsibility from himself, as the minister responsible, to a senior civil servant, was a travesty of justice for Rowse, and went against the Accountability System.[13]

  11. So, So Thirsty says:

    @ Just Curious, I confess that up until you mentioned it, I had never, ever wondered that. And I still don’t want to now.

    I am beginning to wonder though, whether Sir Donalds yachting misadventures are the result of a colossal misunderstanding. Do you think maybe Donald asked Charlie Ho “If I do you a favour, can I come on your boat”? And Charlie just took it completely the wrong way.

  12. Wanchai Dreamer says:

    Yesterday’s Standard reported:

    “Meanwhile, more new homes were sold. Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) sold 64 out of 65 units at AnaCapri on Park Island since Saturday.”

    Ana Capri just happens to be the name of a Filipina actress. My wife and I actually had the dubious pleasure – or perhaps privilege – of meeting her while on a trip to Bohol a couple of years ago (we do have photographic evidence to support this claim!). One of her more recent TV appearances was as a monkey-like character in a seriously weird (to my mind at least) series entitled Noah. Monkey-business anyone?

  13. Walter De Havilland says:

    Mike Rowse was supposed to be the fall guy allowing Henry to walk away blameless for Harbourfest. Unfortunately for the government, Mr. Rowse declined to play the role and he shamed them in Court exposing their double dealing. I suspect that as an Expat Mr. Rowse was seen as an easy target, albeit he holds a Chinese passport. Henry’s integrity was found wanting all those years ago and he has continued in a similar manner.

  14. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ WDH

    Yes , I know the Mike Rowse story : I was around at the time of the Harborfest and was as disgusted as everyone at the way Mr Rowse was treated, when all he had been trying to do was to help HK .

    My point was that all this is written up is sordid detail on Wikipedia to the en-ending disgrace of h tang ( ” jp ” ). What an awful testament both to the bad judgement of sir bow tie to make tang his CS , and now the even worse judgment of the tycoon in backing tang

    Leopards don’t change their spots and tang has only got worse over the years. in 2002 he has no hesitation in trying to put the blame of Mr Rowse . Now he has no hesitation in blaming his wife . I guess soon he will be blaming his “non-existent” illegitimate son , and if tang does – by some awful chance – become CE and screw us all (up) I guess he will blame all those who voted for him.

    Wouldn’t it be great if the pro-dems for once get their act together and transfer their block vote en masse to CY in the first round , seeing that there is no hope for dear Albert. Now THAT would impress me !

  15. Bulbul says:

    An formula to generate a name for your next HK development:
    wealth-related term + nobility-related term + some franglais
    Et volia:

  16. Real Tax Payer says:

    If you think about it…. the way donald has dressed in that Macau restaurant shot perhaps tells a story : it seems don-the-con only relaxes and dresses casual with his seedy business friends i.e. his REAL friends

    For the rest of us – and BJ – he puts on his silly bow tie show.

    Now – truly – if he had been in macau on business and waring his usual bow tie it would not have been quite so bad, not so… ?

    And what’s all thus stuff with enery in an open neck shirt as he tries to woo the nasty common plebs, for which he doesn’t give a rats arse the rest of the time. Methinks horses and ducks speak with forked tongues….

  17. Iffy says:

    RTP, could you possibly dial down the CY man-love a notch or two? Big Lychee is starting to feel like a branch of his campaign office.

  18. Jon Dica says:

    Yes, agreed RTP. I can read Wikipedia for myself, thank you very much.

  19. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Iffy

    I would gladly do so if the awful tang would raise the level of his play a few notches. At the moment tang is playing like tiger woods with only one arm, one leg, his IQ thermostat turned to the temperature of KMB buses. his bevvy of female friends ( I mean tiger’s not tang’s ) dangling from his nether regions. Now THAT’s what I call a real handicap !

    But seriously, the whole tang campaign is just a farce. Fortunately in today’s ( wednesday’s ) SCMP headline news ( which Hemmers seems to have overlooked) BJ seems to realizing that dealing all the aces, and all the royal cards, and just about all other cards down to the 2’s and 3’s to the tycoons may not be such a good idea in the future ( and not we are not playing chor dai dee)

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