Death-house for rich opens


The Hong Kong Housing Society unveils a special residential project in which the ‘upper class’ elderly can live for a set lump sum until they die. For some reason, they are calling it Tanner Hill, which conjures up images of leather-working and thus the processing of carcasses, and therefore not terrifically brilliant feng shui – but maybe that’s just my twisted mind.

You might think that, as a non-profit, the HKHS aimed to help the poor, but this is some sort of non-subsidized development, and (presumably) some sort of hare-brained initiative of former Chief Executive Donald Tsang. Had some land in North Point lying around, couldn’t think what to do with it…

The more-or-less luxury complex is restricted to the over-60s and features servants’ quarters, ghastly-sounding wellness centres and clinics. The South China Morning Post reports that there is no means test, though it might be more accurate to say you need to be quite rich. The older you are, the less you pay. Thus, a 60-year-old pays HK$10 million for a 820-sq-ft unit, while an 80-year-old would pay HK$5 million. (Plus of course management fees – but hey, you even get management fees in heaven.)

The deal is that you have to hand the apartment back to the HKHS when you depart this world. In other words, it works a bit like a reverse mortgage. For this reason, it looks likely to appeal mostly to people who hate their kids, because the nest-egg vanishes and the ungrateful brats will never see a penny.

It would also be ideal if you are 80 and know for sure that you still have 20 years’ life left ElsieTuin you. Which brings us rather neatly to news just in (from a reliable source, though still no confirmation as of 10.50am): Hong Kong social justice warrior-turned Beijing apologist Elsie Tu (nee Elliot Hume) has passed away, at a sprightly 102. Maybe the HKHS were playing safe – from an actuarial point of view – and waiting for this before releasing Tanner Hill for sale. (Update.)

On a completely unrelated note: the latest from China Daily, so you don’t have to bother…


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19 Responses to Death-house for rich opens

  1. LRE says:

    It’s good to know that in the midst of an affordable housing crisis for young people and those on low incomes, the HKHS has decided to sort out the problem for the obvious priority group: the affluent elderly.

    No doubt they’ll now be ready to tackle the next most obvious candidates: middle-aged yacht owners!

  2. Red Dragon says:

    Well, Hemmers. Wikipedia is saying the old trout’s dead. 11.24 am.

  3. Stephen says:

    The Pro-China (that bastion of fine reporting) confirms Elsie is dead.

    Bad form to speak ill of the dead as they have no right of reply so I’ll leave it there.

  4. old git says:

    “it was not the government’s responsibility to make sure home prices do not fall”, said C Y Leung; so they did this HKHS development for rich guys.

    I am rapt, having recently shelled out for a retirement home which has hot and cold folding doors, family can stay as long as we like, tons of room, brand new, safe, my missus keeps it when I conk out and its value is underwritten by the HKHS’s reference to market values.

  5. PD says:

    Didn’t she support Rejaina? ‘Nuf said.

  6. Joe Blow says:

    She was sitting at a table next to me in a resto in Kwun Tong last year. First and last time I ever saw her.

  7. Dirty Gerty from No. 30 says:

    Who could be next ? Ted Thomas, George Adams, Joyce Boutique, Aching-Bones, Tung Chee Wah, Alan Tam……

  8. Enid Fenby says:

    You can always tell when men are getting old. They talk about money instead of women at the dinner table. Perhaps the same can be said of bloggers.

  9. Enid Fenby says:

    I saw Ted Thomas having breakfast in Stanley this morning. I think old ladies should be told.

  10. Dame Diane Butler says:

    He was just there to buy a T-shirt at Stanley market that sez: “I don’t rob old ladies”.

  11. Hermes says:

    A small correction: Elsie Tu, née Hume. Elliot was the name of the missionary husband she followed to China and later parted ways with.

  12. Knownot says:

    A century has passed, but today,
    Cold and hazy, let her pass away.

    In another century, another age,
    She came to China, zealous, a believer
    In her family’s faith. Tell the people!
    Let it spread! Then: she lost her faith.

    She came to Hong Kong. Fired by British values,
    She turned against the British. In the colony,
    Anti-imperial, she made her stand.
    And made a nuisance of herself! Anti-
    Establishment, incorruptible,
    Humanitarian, implacable.
    Never resting, never rich, she made
    A kindergarten, and through every barrier
    Battled, broke, broke through. She endured.

    Then the believer found another faith.
    As zealously as once she loved her Saviour,
    As zealously as once she fought the Governor,
    Now she loved her country. Another country.
    Faith in this – or that. Isn’t it strange
    How somebody can stay the same, and change?

    I wish this hadn’t happened. And today,
    I wish, today, I did not think of it.
    Victoria Park, June the fourth, one night
    In the nineteen-nineties. Assembled there,
    Fathers, mothers, children. She rebuked them.
    “This is not the way to raise your children.
    You should teach them how to love their country.”
    So the honourable woman said.

    But I believe, whatever she believed,
    Her heart was good, her principles were high.
    This cold December day: Elsie Tu, Goodbye.

  13. Dame Diane Butler says:

    Goodbye indeed. Anyone who thinks that Vagina Ip is a good and righteous person obviously lost it long ago. Now that she is in heaven, she and Kevin Sinclair can bore each other to, errr, eternity.

  14. Poor old Elsie. She was so zealously anti-colonialist, yet failed to recognise that the handover just substituted one imperial overlord for another.

    Ironic that Beijing’s fake Panchen Lama will presumably be on their list of “real” living Buddhas.

  15. dimuendo says:

    Elsie Hume/Elliott/Tu was a hard working gracious lady who sought to stand up for the oppressed and to expose the considerable chicanery of the establishment.

    The fact her views changed in her considerable old age (as many peoples do) should not be used to belittle her considerable efforts from years before I suspect most if not all of Hemloocks readers and commentators came to HK, and probably in several cases were born.

    Knowonot gets it right, as does the first paragraph of outside influence.

  16. Older Than Oldtimer says:

    The China Daily article on a Living Buddha database was indeed funny but not necessarily for the reasons you imply. The one example cited by Beijing’s combative Zhu Weiqun was a Tibetan named ‘Baima Aose’ (likely ‘Pema Woeser’ in Tibetan). In this case a video was made of him bestowing living Buddha status on a Chinese movie actor named Zhang Tielin here in Hong Kong. This caused a stir among some monastic communities in Eastern Tibet.

    I have an old habit that I just cannot seem to break. Every day I still try to pick up a copy of Ta Kung Pao and give it a quick read. I have noticed that for the last couple of years this newspaper has never missed an opportunity to sing the praises of a certain Tibetan lama in flowing golden robes who flits back and forth across the Pacific between California and Hong Kong claiming connections with the United Nations. The paper cannot give him enough copy inches as he presides over gala get-togethers of his HK youth organization (新港青年会), his grand sounding business group cum foundation (世贸联合基金总会) and his local educational institution called the Asia College of Knowledge Management (亚洲知识管理学院) . You guessed it! This fellow is ‘His Eminence Baima Aose’ and Ta Kung Pao bought his malarkey hook, line and sinker. How embarrassing now that Beijing has decreed His Eminence a phoney. Will Ta Kung Pao now do a self-criticism for the benefit of its readers . . . not to mention its masters? I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    The other funny aspect is that far from ‘Baima Aose’ being a threat to national security which the China Daily alleges, he positioned himself as someone capable of dulling a bit of the luster and appeal of the Dalai Lama, something that at least in theory should enhance national security.

    Finally a tip of my hat and three very, very respectful bows to the memory of Elsie Tu. I and many others used to volunteer our Saturdays in the late 60s and early 70s to help her with her Urban Council ward work. We witnessed first hand what a relentless fighter she was for the rights of ordinary citizens who lacked the political insight and linguistic tools to successfully engage the Government of that time. Post war Hong Kong had never seen anyone like her.

  17. Chris Maden says:

    Rest in Peace, Elsie Tu.

  18. Laguna Lurker says:

    I think it’s high time that Hemmers started a Hong Kong Dead Pool, as Dirty Gerty’s comment suggests. I’d probably be somewhere on the list….

  19. Incredulous says:

    Until about a week ago, Ted Thomas had been living on Lamma. Known affectionately as “The Walking Ted” as he shuffled up and down. Apparently couldn’t pay his rent so he’s obviously moved upmarket!

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