A full five-day week, and yet it zipped by in a flash – as time must when you’re enjoying yourself.
The big distraction was Xi Jinping’s elevation to Emperor for Life, of which much more is to come.
Many of Hong Kong’s great and good will be at the National People’s Congress snooze-in next week (some are going up by high-speed train – pushing West Kowloon checkpoint arrangements, geddit? – for extra Shoe-shining Loyalty Points). And when they return, they will no doubt eagerly explain to hard-hitting local reporters why they ‘voted’ in the ‘parliament’ to endorse the Real Man’s ‘proposed’ quasi-neo-re-Maoification-with-something-characteristics change to the ‘constitution’. They will awkwardly say “because it’s fab!” The clichéd explanation is that they have been compelled to nail their colours to the mast, but it’s more like they’ve had their hands or cheeks nailed to it.
Among likely intriguing outcomes of the Xi-coup-type thing will be a more-thorough re-writing and scrubbing of China’s official history (lost a good link, never mind). Also, expect more money-laundering, as Mainland elites express their unbounded confidence in the China Dream by scrabbling ever harder to get their wealth out. The rest of the (Western, at least) world – which has been slowly waking up anyway – finally feels its ‘promise fatigue’ and general delusion. Meanwhile, the Panda-cuddly ‘soft power’ gets weirder.
In Hong Kong, the Financial Secretary made his annual big agonizing decision, and after much careful consideration picked this rose-red-with-hint-of-crimson for the cover of his Budget. (What’s it called? – something around here.) A fair and reasonable look at the idiocy of Hong Kong’s tax system slipped through the cracks here.
I suggested that forthcoming LegCo by-election candidate Au Nok-hin has been under-promoted, but then I find that he had in fact emailed me (and all other HK Island voters whose details his campaign has) with a link to his website. Beijing-supported rival Judy Chan (who should have the same contact details) has not – or my eyes glazed over and missed it.
I declare the weekend open with recommended soothing binge-watching: 99-year-old Japanese grandma’s recipes.
Old people experience time differently than young’uns *hum*.
The Tesla claim seems to assume that existing emission levels from Hong Kong’s power plants will remain unchanged, but in fact the two power companies are gradually reducing their use of coal and increasing the use of natural gas, which calls the figures into question.
Funnily enough there are no readers’ comments on Stefano Mariani’s suggestions in the SCMP about introducing a Capital Gains Tax on property in Hong Kong…..
I’m sorry you lost a link.
It’s better than losing more of your marbles.
I’m off to the American Consulate to ask if they can arm teachers in Hong Kong too. I’d like one of those nifty ankle holsters. The new bulge will also give me a better presence on the bike. I forecast that China will soon be the country of choice for Americans fleeing gun terror.
It’s true that time goes faster and faster as one ages. Proof enough is that 50 years ago it took 15 minutes for the barber and now it takes 2 minutes.
And a Capital Gains Tax is redundant because Hong Kong has Stamp Duties galore and introducing another tax on property will kill off the secondary market, entirely.
@Herr Torquewrench – for many people in HK, their home is the only significant investment they have. Deprive them of the opportunity to cash in on rising prices when they get old, and bang goes their pension. Mine too.
“press the government to explain clearly how it envisages tackling the structural imbalances in Hong Kong’s tax laws and ensure that these begin to reflect the funding needs of the city not as it was, but as we wish it to be.”
Good luck with that Mr Mariani. It would mean a government official having to a) address the issue, and b) actually formulate policy. None of them are going to risk damaging career and pension prospects by doing something as silly as that.
These may seem dark days but it will all pass. Nothing remains the same for long. China may have a new emperor, Russia has a new czar and the USA has a demented clown.
It will all pass.
@Old Newcomer – you do know that the proposed capital gains tax would have an exemption for one’s principal residence. The tax reform proposed in the Post article targets speculators and rentiers, not those trying to make a gain on the sale of their home.
Judy got round to sending an email eventually: http://judychanelection.hk/asset/judy/edm/4/judy-edm-4-en.html