Rogue lion dancer falls foul of law
It seems Lai See was too late in her warning to renegade lion dancers yesterday.
One such rebel has already fallen foul of the authorities.
The Government takes a harsh view on rogue lion dancers, dragons, unicorns and martial artists. If you perform without a permit, you face six months in jail and a HK$2,000 fine.
While some of us may be scornful or even mocking of this, the powers-that-be have evidently failed to see the irony. They are actually serious.
Wong Chun-cheong learned this the hard way. At only 16, he was sent to a detention centre by a magistrate for performing in a lion dance without a permit.
This involves a minimum stay of six months and a maximum of three years. To make things worse, his girlfriend was pregnant at the time.
Now, had he been driving blind drunk while dressed as a lion, he would probably only receive an HK$8,000 fine.
His lawyer instantly appealed. 'My client is only a drummer,' barrister Richard Wong tells Lai See.
The case was not overturned on appeal. It went all the way to Hong Kong's top court, the Court of Final Appeal. By this time, the lion dancer had served nearly four months in the detention centre.
Lai See loves a happy ending and is pleased to inform you that our rogue lion dancer spent Christmas at home with his expectant girlfriend.
The judges last week reduced the sentence to a HK$100 fine. Lai See in the meantime would like to find out what the going penalty is for permit-less mules in Government?
Scrooge figures: Congratulations to China Mobile for winning this month's Bah, Humbug! award for forcing staff to cancel their Christmas holidays.
Still, at least it was only the executives who were Scrooged.
They spent the last few days calculating the impact of Beijing's adjustment of basic telecom tariffs came up with a five-page announcement detailing just how this will impact financially on the firm.
A phone call had come down from the upper ranks of China Mobile for the figures to take precedent over Christmas.
This went down particularly well with analysts, who congratulated China Mobile for reacting so quickly and being more transparent.
We suspect China Mobile was keen to avoid criticism from fund managers on the issue of transparency.
Last month the telecom company was slated for its lack of openness on the controversial calling-party-pays mobile billing system. A sell-down on its shares ensued.
It appears China Mobile has turned over a new leaf.
The prickly holly variety, Lai See suspects.
Bore talk: Is your idea of trashing a hotel room refusing to fill out the guest request card? Do you invite an actuary to liven up a party?
Chances are you're an accountant. Yes, yes, we know you're not boring, you just get excited about boring things.
Apparently the rest of the world just does not understand you.
This is why the Hong Kong Society of Accountants is running a course on communications for bean-counters.
'At the end of this workshop you will be able to present your ideas more confidently and logically,' it professes.
To boost your charisma, you will be taught effective communication skills. And this starts with a definition of 'communication'.
The programme then progresses to 'common barriers in communication'. Lai See suggests that being unfamiliar with the concept of 'communication' might be a slight hindrance.
You will then be taught how to build a rapport and communicate with different people.
('Stating your case in an assertive and positive way, checking feedback, flexibility.')
There will also be some tips on 'outcome visualisation' of a conversation and 'smart thinking models for generating and organising ideas more quickly'.
It all sounds so lucid. And it only costs HK$400. We suspect the society will be inundated with candidates.
After all, what else does an accountant do for fun?
Charlotte Parsons is on holiday