Not The South China Morning Post

Wally Wilde
Oct 13, 1999
Our columnist lays off it and gets out the petite typewriter
China�s Fake Wine Connoisseurs

If it�s red, contains alcohol and sugar and has a hint of the grape, put it in a bottle, slap a fancy label on it and some nouveau-riche twit or corrupt in China will buy it, to mix with his 7-Up and bubble his cigar-smoke through.

It didn�t take long for Hong Kong�s wine merchants to catch on. After all, these "connoisseurs" have been doing the same thing with cognac for years�and so have the merchants.  We are accustomed to fake watches, fake computer software, fake designer clothing and accessories, and even a fake government, so why is everyone now expressing shock-horror at the discovery of 12,000 bottles of counterfeit plonk in Hong Kong�s bonded warehouses?
(Because it affects journalists' interests. Ed.)

Headline of the week

A tip of the hat to the unknown South China Morning Post sub-editor who yesterday wrote this headline: "Privatisation is on track, civil service chief insists".

"On track", indeed. Bearing in mind that privatisation of the British rail network under Railtrack, with its consequent profit vs safety conflict of interest, is now being blamed for the country�s recent appalling spate of fatal train crashes, this tongue-in-cheek offering speaks volumes for at least one journalist�s sub-conscious perspective on Hong Kong�s future.

The Wilde Hassle Award this week goes to Mr Chan Wai-chui, an Officer of the Environmental Protection Department.

Chan was hard at work protecting the environment in his office in Tsuen Wan last December when he saw "white smoke" (or what we ordinary folk call steam) issuing from a monastery opposite the building, where Buddhist nun Shih Chao Jung was burning garden debris.

Investigations revealed that Shih had no Government permit to burn leaves, and Chan dragged her before the court to be charged with a criminal offence.  Well done, Mr Chan. That�ll show �em that our Government really means business on air pollution!



I see from the Post that Japan has sent a delegation to Indonesia, "to learn at first hand what are the needs for humanitarian aid to E Timor".

That's a bit like asking Peking how you can help out in Tibet, isn't it?

And what about the irony of the international peace-keeping force being headed by Australia -- the only nation on the planet to have accepted Indonesia's occupation of E Timor as legitimate?

Pip pip, Wally.