A timely trivia quiz

Financial Secretary Paul Chan warns Hong Kong property buyers that the market is ‘irrationally stimulated’. The Monetary Authority, nudging interest rates up, advises that the cost of mortgages will be rising.

Let’s leave aside the case of the guy who paid HK$5 million for a parking space in Western. It was apparently some 40% bigger than a normal parking space. And he presumably needed one, and is sufficiently wealthy not to have to look at price tags for necessities – just as most of us would pick up one of Park N Shop’s new ‘noodle mugs’ if we needed a ‘noodle mug’, and not bother thinking much about the cost.

To put it in perspective, you could fit a Tesla into it. Which you can’t do with this 161-sq-ft apartment.

The noteworthy thing is the slightly-urgent tone of our officials advising citizens that loading up on debt to buy a tiny concrete box might not be a great idea just now. It takes a lot to get them to say that.

The Foreign Correspondents Club quiz last night had lots of history questions on the theme of the handover in 1997. In that spirit, here’s a couple more:

Q: Which Hong Kong official not long before the handover advised people not to buy into the property bubble, and was then attacked by those who held back and felt ‘left out’ when prices continued to balloon for a few months?

Q: Which Hong Kong official not long before the handover pointed out that housing had become unaffordable at least partly because the Chinese government had in preceding years (for reasons that were never clear) ordered the British to limit land sales – prompting the Chinese officials to go into a big Pissed Panda Tantrum Huff?

Clue: it’s the same person.


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17 Responses to A timely trivia quiz

  1. Joe Blow says:

    Pub quizzes ? Ah, that really brings back the 80s.

  2. Property Developer says:

    I seem to remember that the pre-1997 government wasn’t allowed to sell off much land because China thought the proceeds would be whisked out by the foreign devils, possibly via the tunnel under HSBC.

  3. Chris Maden says:

    The one on the left?

  4. Oh dear. Property again. AND that sordid drunken naff old colonial hangover, the FCC. You boring old man you.

    Talking of property, I have been told you are the unofficial Tory bulletin board of Hong Kong. I wouldn’t know as I never read the comments.

    Your commentators must be appalled and horrified at the news of the Grenfell Tower blaze in beloved Kensington. All those flakes of polyurethane lagging and dead black or brown people fouling their righteous pavements. But lots of property development opportunities begin with a fire.

    “WOG”, the Kensington and Chelsea borough coumcillors say: “Worthy Of Grilling.”

    Pip, pip!

  5. Stephen says:

    @Chris Maden

    I don’t think the one on the left was ever a Hong Kong official ? True he was the CCP’s first choice for Chief Executive, turned it down and recommended CH Tung, and set the SAR firmly on the road to hell.

    Q2 Why is Hong Kong property so expensive ?

    A. Because it’s beautifully proportioned
    B. There’s no land
    C. Supply and demand semantics
    D. Because Matthew Cheung GBS, JP owns a considerable chunk of it
    E. It’s Government Policy

  6. Donny Almond says:

    Who is the bottle blonde on the right ?

  7. dimuendo says:


    Answer is Shelley Chow, wife of York Chow, and well known Occupational Therapist expert witness , normally for the defence.

  8. Peter says:

    Bufton Tufton please piss off. Nobody cares about your lame commentary

  9. Red Dragon says:

    Taken enough abuse from that egregious twat in Stanley, yet, Hemmers?

    Are you a dyed-in-the-wool masochist, or merely on the horns of a liberal dilemma? You know the one – I cannot be seen to curtail freedom of speech even when that freedom is abused by a deranged tosser who exercises it in order to post ugly, abusive, tasteless tripe.

    Believe me, mate, were you to spike Adams’ guns, you wouldn’t hear a word of complaint from me or, I strongly suspect, from any of your other admirers in this comments section.

    After all, we’re all Tories so getting shot of the self-appointed Rosa Luxemburg of Stanley shouldn’t ruffle too many feathers.

    Grasp the nettle, old son.

  10. dimuendo says:

    I have just noticed Mr Adams latest contribution. When others post moan about him I normally have limited sympathy. However on this occasion his post is at best reprehensible and probably abhorrent. To seek to make “fun” of an appalling fire in which (potentially) dozens have died is not appropriate. Further the way he has worded his third paragraph indicates that he is not horrified, and in some way approves.

    Mr Hemlock , you once chose to not put up a comment I made directed to Mr Adams. On this occasion, I hope you do put up this comment. I deplore Mr Adams comment, and with respect you, Mr Hemlock, should not have put it on the site.

  11. PCC says:

    There is wisdom in Lyndon Johnson’s observation of how to handle J. Edgar Hoover: “It’s probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.”

  12. Red Dragon says:

    Yes, indeed, PCC.

    But Adams is already outside the tent pissing in, so l don’t really see how the analogy to LBJ and J. Edgar helps us.

    I certainly wouldn’t want Adams inside any tent of mine, irrespective of where he was pissing.

    And my! Doesn’t he piss!

  13. PG says:

    “You boring old man you.” writes Stanley Adams – a.k.a Bufton Tufton today. Pots and kettles come to mind.

  14. Laguna Lurker says:

    I stand with Peter, Red Dragon and dimuendo. George Adams is the turd in the punchbowl. I shall not endure his stench any longer. Sad to say goodbye Hemlock, but I’m out of here.

  15. @Red Dragon – “we’re all Tories”. Speak for yourself – personally I subscribe to the philosophy expressed in Adrian Mitchell’s poem:
    I’s rather be a stag at bay
    Daubed in colours brown and gory
    Or any creature any day
    Than be a bloody Tory.

    Which doesn’t make Adams any less of a prat. He was claiming on his blog that you had banned his exceptionally tasteless comment on the London fire, a claim he has now withdrawn. And by his own admission, having dropped his daily turd here, he runs off and leaves someone else to clean up the toilet: “I never read their [Hemlock’s readers’] comments on my comments but I assume they are very Tory, very self-satisfied, very Little England, very Economist, very out-of-touch. Just like poor Hemlock.”

    If we want assumptions based on a total lack of attention to the evidence, we don’t need Adams – we can read Donald Trump. And why does Adams draw all his pseudonyms from Private Eye – can’t he think up something original for a change?

  16. Red Dragon says:

    Old Newcomer, sorry you didn’t spot it, but I was being ironic when I used the words, “We’re all Tories”.

    I was using Adams’ characterisation of us to make a point against him.

    I am no more of a Tory than you are.

  17. @red Dragon – I did wonder.

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