Ten years ago today…
Tue, 28 May 2002
Accompany the Big Boss on a courtesy visit to the Census and Statistics Department. Lots of bowing and scraping from civil service flunkies who imagine the Chairman and CEO of S-Meg Holdings will put in a good word with friends in the government and spare them their (barely noticeable) forthcoming pay cut. The Big Boss is presented with a flower – a large, waxy red thing that seems to have evolved in such a way as to resemble the private parts of a tree-dwelling primate, the name of which escapes me. Or did the animal evolve to look like the flower?
The chief flunky drones on about privacy, the need for scientific integrity in data, and the need to keep some statistics confidential, on the grounds that they could cause alarm to the public, or would be bad for Hong Kong’s reputation overseas. For example, 29.3% of all females in the 20-49 age group in Hong Kong are called Amy, and a further 26.5% are called Grace. If released, he says, this information would upset local people and cause Hong Kong to be treated with great derision overseas. I question the chief flunky’s right to keep such data under wraps, much to the annoyance of the Big Boss, who is bored and wants to go. Now, if more than 50% of all men in Hong Kong were called Amy or Grace, that would need to be hushed up.