Only going a hundred yards or so, but getting over 50% more space for the same rent. A late 1950s block on Robinson Road – must be one of the first high-rises (12 floors) built there. They designed residential developments differently in those days: squarer, more efficient floorplan, but fewer windows (a misnamed ‘lightwell’ serves the kitchen/bathroom area); vast lobby and semi-outdoor hallways. How much bigger could apartments be if the government went back to more basic building codes?
You can cancel electricity and gas accounts online in a minute. But the government-owned water supply? You can do it by fax.
Some stuff from the weekend…
Playing devil’s advocate, I wondered if the Hong Kong government’s explanation (short press release) for banning the Batman film could be sincere, given the lack of extensive whining. But the whining did indeed happen. And so the credibility of the official line suffers that much more.
On the subject of ‘not very convincing’, we will probably never know the exact reason for the graceless – but apparently unscripted – removal of an elderly and reluctant Hu Jintao from the final session of the 20th CCP Congress. Xinhua’s ‘health’ explanation is as obvious as it is weak – but the memes in the following retweets are hilarious. The penalty for having such an opaque system is that no-one will ever believe you. (Consider the context of Xi’s previous criticism of Hu’s time in office.)
My theory: Xi objected to the famously characterless former leader acting as a black hole and sucking up his own dazzling charisma.
More witty memes.
Justice Russell Coleman, while ruling on vaccination exemptions, goes somewhat off-subject and skewers the government’s overweening Covid regulations. Intro from David Webb, plus link to more snark, such as…
It may not require particular cynicism to think that the attempt to move away from the word “invalidity” is an attempt to minimize the Decision’s potential conflict with section 17.
… It is public knowledge that on 3 to 5 October 2022, a legally-qualified legislator raised the question whether the Secretary had legal authority to invalidate the MECs, and asked that there might be an explanation of the legal grounds said to be relied upon.
[para 28] It is unfortunate that the legislator subsequently faced criticism for raising the question, as though to do so were somehow an attack on the Government. First, the question has now been held to be at least strongly arguable and so might be thought to be one properly raised and addressed. Secondly, the question does not identify a choice between being ‘pro-Government’ or ‘anti-Government’; it identifies a distinction between what is lawful and what is unlawful.
More youngsters sentenced to prison by a NatSec court for messages having ‘no historical or legal basis’ and which ‘incite subversion’. According to the judge, their 30-36-month terms reflect the offense’s ‘minor nature’.
An extra little morsel of weirdness: compulsory testing notices are still a thing, and all manner of public-sector staff are getting roped in to help enforce them – harassing residents entering and leaving designated housing blocks. In the latest example, a posse raised from the Working Family and Student Financial Assistance Agency and the University Grants Committee Secretariat descend on Elegance Garden, Tai Po. And yes, they slapped HK$10,000 fines on several people.
Are employees of obscure public bodies drafted because there aren’t enough regular Health Department people on call? Or is it a way to force more of the bureaucracy to take part in order to spread the culpability and opprobrium?
I also watched the brutal removal of elder statesman Hu. So much for the Confucian respect for the elderly. It’s also a slap in the face of every Chinese citizen who once looked up to Hu Jintao as their head of state. At least Hu didn’t get executed by machinegun, like Kim Jong Un’s uncle, after he was publicly removed from a party meeting.
On a local note, say goodbye to yet another piece of old Hong Kong: the market in Bowrington Road. Wanchai, (near Canal Street East) where you could buy a wide variety of the freshest, still flip-flopping seafood, has been “sanitized”. Every vendor has been forced inside their respective shop cubicle so that the streets remain wide open for, what else, traffic.
Yes, compulsory testing notices are still a thing. The third one in four months for my building was posted up yesterday – last one was a month ago. A total waste of time and money:
The good news is that the elderly are off the hook, no longer shouldering the blame for the failure to remove unpopular anti-C suppress the population measures.
Now the finger is being pointed at the real culprits, yeah all those kindy kids who are holding out on the vaxx push.
The million dollar questions is how come with hairdressers off limits one has yet to see a shaggy individual or an increase in grey root grow out, on the streets. The ban was introduced in March, 8 months ago, and hair grows at the rate of around half an inch a month……….
A simple example that the Lion Rock Spirit is alive and well and that citizens will always find a way around petty restrictions that serve no purpose other than to punish the community.
Re. that letter from Eric Chan (sic).
Did I really spot three examples of “inter alia” slotted, in pretty close proximity, into its clunky and often incoherent text?
That’s some going, Eric, and I admire your chutzpah, but do please bear in mind that lightweight and content-free writing cannot acquire the gravitas you desire merely by peppering it with Latin phrases.
But nil desperandum, Eric, and carpe diem! Just remember in future that gratuitous Latinisms are not, per se, the sine qua non of good writing. Do this, and you will find, mutatis mutandis, that your output, while rooted in terra firma, will soar stylistically per ardua ad astra. As a bonus and, of course, inter alia, you will also come to see quite how dulce et decorum est pro patria mentiri.
Mary – The hair salons have been open since April. Regarding all of the restrictions and blaming different groups for them, I think the government is trying to divide society and train the people to be obedient.
I figured Hu was getting taken away for being angry that someone had cut off his hair dye allowance
@Red Dragon – etcetera, ad infinitum. Nice one!
That handrail is an elegant and practical work of art.
Like Mary, I also haven’t noticed the hairdressers reopening. Instead I’ve been tearing my hair out this whole time.
@justsayin: It’s well known that once a ChiCom “leader” is out of office, he immediately (willingly or not) reverts to the natural look, making him look that much older and less virile compared to the latest thug holding onto the nuclear codes.
ad cuius evidentiam, I was referring to the no vaxx, no haircut mandate that L Rockers have somehow managed to circumnavigate (inter alia, borrowed from the Latin circumnāvigātus)
Red Dragon –
A day late. Hope you see this.
@Chinese Netizen – Jiang Zemin’s non-presence at the meeting makes more sense then… they didnt want to put a frog on the stage with Pooh Bear
I’ll take Old Jiang any day over this new crop of waxworks that think too highly of themselves. At least Jiang had a personality!
I’m guessing Jiang has been dead for months but no one’s saying.