Thursday, 14 October 2010

Hong Kong news 15 October

Apologies for the lack of news yesterday, but my one-eyed reporting was compromised by my need to go out for dinner. Never fear: I have covered two days' worth of news today.

Please note the change in the title. My mornings are getting quite busy (due to the extra sleep I am getting) so I'll post the news whenever I feel like it. This is from the South China Morning Post (SCMP), a pro-Beijing English daily. Actually, it's the top selling English newspaper in Hong Kong and is about as objective as The Citizen/Daily Mail.

The Singapore skyline. Image hakked from Thanks folks.

Singapore's economy laughed off the recession as it grew 18.1% in the first half of this year which is the greatest increase since records began in 1975. How weird that these British colonies are better at British things than the British are...? Banking and economics in this case.

Beijing will spend 4 trillion yuang (which is about 4.1 trillion ronts) over five years across key industries: energy, materials, IT, biology and new medicine, aerospace, marine, manufacturing and hi-tech services. How cool would it be if China joined the space race?

The dollar weakend to its lowest level in recent times yesterday, including dropping to 81 Japanese yen. The Hong Kong Dollar is pegged to the US Dollar so the debate as to whether it should be unpegged is raging again, although HK CEO, Donald Tsang says that it is a lifeline (or some such shitty analogy) and that the currencies will remain pegged.

Chief Executive, Donald Tsang Yam Kuen (basically the president of Hong Kong) gave his penultimate policy address on Thursday. Hong Kong's biggest social problem is housing. Poor people cannot afford to live here because the huge demand for houses, and the trickling supply of them forces the prices sky high. Tsang proposed two initiatives to help people with housing. The first being a rent-to-buy where purchasers rent a property for a fixed term and then decide to buy it - the rent they've paid counts as money spent towards buying the house. The second initiative is to make 20 000 property units available every year to keep the property prices at an acceptable level. Critics believe that neither of these initiatives will work, and as this is the "We love the Chinese Government" English mouthpiece, the SCMP has quoted every critic it can find. At length.

A cab driver was arrested for taking advantage of drunk people who wound up in his taxi in the early hours of the morning. A stiff sentence - 32 months in prison - for stealing from 10 different passengers (wallets and phones and things) while they lay passed out in his car is reflective of the fact that I am not going to flout the law here.

Property magnate and government employee, Lau Wong-fat, the Hong Kong government's Peter Mandelson, a man who's crookedness seems to be reported on every day, has received the backing of Donald Tsang, the HK CEO. Lau Wong-fat probablty owns Tsang's house.

Donald Tsang has promised to table a bill regulating working hours. In yesterday's paper, a woman didn't qualify for a public transport discount because she worked less than 72 hours per week... so there are people that work more than that. Seriaas. It pays to be on the correct side of colonialism, doesn't it?

50%-60% of Hong Kong's waste is recycled. I find this very hard to believe. But the greenies don't even think that's high enough as South Korea allegedly recycles 90% of its waste.

An anonymous threat grounded 14 Cathay Pacific flights (13 passenger, 1 cargo) yesterday. It was later found to be a hoax. I hope they catch this anonymous caller and castrate him (or de-tit her). There is nothing more infuriating. Well, an actual bomb I suppose...

China will be sending over 1500 participants to the Asian Games in Guangzhou next month. Insanity.

There is absolutely no sport news regarding Hong Kong. It's all Liverpool, baseball, Chinese basketball... so you'll have to wait I'm afraid. I think the Hong Kong Sixes cricket squads have been announced though, so let me see what I can dig up. Keep an eye on twitter.

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