Impressed! While we knew tycoon Lui Che-woo’s grandiose quasi-Nobel ‘Prize for World Civilization’ would get a splash in Hong Kong’s shoe-shining media, we didn’t expect quite this level of high-profile fawning. The quantity of cash – HK$2 billion total or HK$60 million a year – helped catch the eye, of course, and the Communist Party’s approval of the harmony and positive-energy claptrap didn’t hurt. And then, of course, the glowing coverage might just also reflect the importance of the old man’s K Wah Group and Galaxy casinos as sources of advertising revenue.
Buried away elsewhere in the news…
So the legal profession has to allow one of its members to moonlight in some Sino-New-Age quack ‘alternative medicine’ baloney, while some United Front malevolence tries to get a doctor disciplined for manning a first-aid station during Occupy.
But double standards can come back with a vengeance. Ask the MTR, which has recently decided to make it a daily practice to bully local young musicians who carry their instruments on trains.
It doesn’t take much lateral-thinking effort to turn this into another localist battle in Hong Kong’s mighty ongoing war between Good and Evil. Hongkongers carrying cellos get penalized while Mainland shoppers are free to clutter up the transport system with cases of Yakult and (reportedly) washing machines and mattresses. One category of passenger is peaceful and creative, while the other inconveniences everyone and makes money for landlords, so (without wishing to labour the point) no prizes for guessing which one gets picked on. A protest at Tai Wai Station – a key Locust Express stop – is now planned. Bring a piano. (I declare the weekend open with the thought that, in fairness, MTR staff brave enough to mess with the redoubtable-looking ‘Zither Girl’ possibly deserve medals.)
The MTR are just bloody stupid. There make me remove my bike front wheel to catch the East Rail to Tai Wai, which makes the bike harder to steer and control as I go through the station. They create the hazard by nonsense rules.
Tycoon’s self-interest comes before city and (horror) country – Li Ka Shing? I suspect with Lui Che-woo’s investment in Macao bleeding profusely he’s hoping his awards will impress Emperor Xi and allow the good ole days to return. We know the winners will mostly be Chinese, with a token foreigner, and exclude that nasty Swedish peace prize bit often won by people who provoke tantrums in Beijing.
Agree with @Stephen
Prize winners are intended to be mostly members of the Master Race.
I have a different take on Lui Che-woo’s prize. Look at the members of the committee- a former World Bank president, a former AB of Canterbury and C. Rice (whom if you recall got the full monty simian lookalike treatment from the mainland press years ago) and the local crew who hold MBEs and such from the great colonizer and de-sinicizer of HK . Not exactly Beijing’s cup of tea. Lui, I suspect is thumbing his nose at the north– after all Xi has targeted one of his most lucrative rice bowls.
You might be on to something, stinky foot
Why else would you choose an economic hitman, a mountebank and a war criminal as judges of world civilization — unless “Dr” Lui is an immensely ironic person, and is going to award the prize to Justin Bieber or some such, just for jolly.