Just like the old days

Wavers of colonial Hong Kong flags, nostalgic for a simpler, happier time before buffoons like Tung Chee-hwa and Donald Tsang started to wreck the city, dance in the streets with joy.  After years of alienation, disruption and anxiety brought on by incessant and unfathomable integration, partnership and cooperation, the Big Lychee experiences a day of plain good old-fashioned, down-home mayhem, just like we used to have.

On both sides of the harbour, deranged wretches wreak their respective versions of havoc. A mother and child in leafy, prosperous, up-30%-in-12-months Taikoo Shing die in one of the city’s most traditional forms of tragedy, the murder-suicide. In Kowloon, the pandemonium is more avant-garde. A man snatches a random baby from a hospital in order (for rather complex reasons) to obtain a saliva sample, and it later transpires that the baby may be that of a (separate) man’s ‘second wife’, a detail that is fascinating because – not despite – of its virtual irrelevance.

In the US, campaigners are demanding better control of guns. But there are 100 million or 200 million of the things, so some perceptive observers are pondering better control of the mentally ill – who are the ones who open fire in schools and cinemas. We have to wonder what Hong Kong, with pitiful psychiatric provision and a default culture of bottling things up to extreme lengths, would be like if half the households had a firearm. The Standard would be twice today’s size.

Back in the days when tycoons were heroes and no-one had ever heard of Yuan business, the Big Lychee had a dear and venerable tradition of bizarre corporate hanky-panky. And this too makes a comeback.

Shares in Agile Property Holdings (whaddya mean, never heard of ‘em?) plunge as its big boss appears in court. But it’s not just ‘appears in court’. It’s ‘appears in court on two counts of indecent assault’. But wait! There’s more! There’s karaoke. But that goes without saying.

And then, to cap it all, we have the inappropriate tacky stock market listing. Was it Club Bboss or Club Volvo? One of them, a couple of decades back, considered going public. Some people were amused, while others squirmed with embarrassment at the idea of a bordello installing itself alongside all those upstanding constituents of the Hang Seng Index.

Today’s plan for a distasteful initial public offering is not so much from the whoring as the pimping side. The company is called EK Immigration Consulting. It arranges customers for such ladies of the night as Canada, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Canada, who will sell themselves for money in the guise of attracting investment or something mysterious called ‘talent’.

Speaking of investment, I wouldn’t have thought this company would be a great addition to anyone’s portfolio. I’d be interested to see what the prospectus has to say about some pretty basic political policy risk. When the number of Mandarin-speaking, money-laundering ex-officials reaches, say, 20% of the Canadian/Oz/NZ populations, voters may decide that – wide open spaces or not – enough’s enough, and elect governments that pull the plug on passports-for-cash deals. And shares in EK Immigration Consulting will drop even faster than those in Agile Property Holdings. Sounds like the sort of thing that happened in old times. The reminiscing will no doubt end tomorrow.


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7 Responses to Just like the old days

  1. Bela's Hong Kong Blogs Review Review says:

    An emaciated solipsistic Hong Kong airhead poses for freak vaguely attractive photos of anaemic sexlessness, a product of Fancl, L’Oreal home perm and hand-me-downs from Lane Crawford Christmas Sale 1995. Obviously sexually deprived and more than usually socially dysfunctional, she rails at men she can’t possibly get – wise moneyed expatriate men with experience and knowledge of the world who would run a mile from her – in suspect, sub-standard, English. Neo-racism in a Vuitton bag. Avoid.

    Er, that’s it.

  2. Joe Blow says:

    This couldn’t be the same Eddie Kwan -ex Immigration Dept. officer- who used to peddle passports-for-sale from Venezuela in the late 1980s, in cahoots with the then-Consul General of Venezuela, whose office was in Star House, and who suddenly and mysteriously disappeared ?

  3. Sir Crispin says:

    Aren’t we all whores pimping ourselves out for a paycheck? Some (bankers come to mind) just sell their souls instead of their bodies.

  4. Property Developer says:

    A good helping of Hemlock, with just a soupcon of Bela — worth all the other HK blogs put together.

  5. Chris Maden says:

    It was still Club Volvo when it thought it would list. Then one of the shareholders, a certain Ronnie Li, was arrested by the ICAC on bribery charges, and talk of listing it fizzled out very quickly.

    (Actually, shifting the brown envelopes was business as usual in the stock exchange back then; Ronnie happened to own the stock exchange and was arrested as a means of punishment for shutting it after the Black Friday crash of October 1987 – which caused the then powers that then were huge embarassment.)

  6. Joe Blow says:

    When Club Volvo -sometimes referred to as ‘Club Vulva’- applied for listing, one of its directors-to-be was Douglas William Alfred BLYE, CMG OBE ACMA, former Secretary of Monetary Affairs (retired in 1985). Douglas, who died in 2011, saw this as a back-door opportunity to sneak back into Hong Kong. But the government of the day would have none of it and he was denied permission to take up the ‘job’.

  7. Why do we need guns when every kitchen in Hong Kong has a meat cleaver to run amok with? We don’t even need them to commit suicide when the nearest roof is 30 storeys above a hard concrete surface.

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