Following an outbreak of COVID-19 at one, the Hong Kong government closes karaoke places – plus nightclubs and mahjong parlours – as it has already with gyms and cinemas. Massage and beauty salons will be subject to similar precautions as cafés, restaurants and bars. The announcement was sudden and muddled. People are curious about why the sleaze-dens weren’t included in the original round of restrictions.
Could it be that they are associated with patriotic triads and/or widely assumed to be fronts for ‘pillar industry’ money-laundering and/or frequented by off-duty cops? Or is it that Chief Executive Carrie Lam, tormented by visions of plague-ridden drunken Westerners rutting in Lan Kwai Fong gutters, overlooked down-market local entertainment venues? Or perhaps, in her Catholic-schoolgirl innocence, she never realized such a demi-monde exists. Or she equated singing with godly wholesomeness.
Another mystery involves the crash two days ago of a PLA helicopter in foggy and hilly Tai Lam Country Park. The aircraft flew into a power line. As the SCMP puts it, ‘no injuries were reported’. RTHK tells us the official statement didn’t mention the crew but said ‘no local resident was injured’. RFA mentions a report that four crew died (as do Apple Daily and others).
A resident of a country park notes that PLA exercises involving helicopters landing troops – apparently from over the border – have been common over the last year. We can only guess what they are training for. Perhaps pre-emptive abduction of pro-dem hikers and picnickers? Or maybe reinforcement of Tai Mo Shan when it is the last, Dien Bien Phu-type holdout of the occupying colonizers, surrounded by yellow-ribbon guerilla forces?