Forum wives get with the programme

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 May, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 May, 2001, 12:00am

The Fortune Global Forum got off to a good start with a demonstration of scaffold erection for the bored partners of invited speakers.

The mainly female audience was treated to an exhibition of what Hong Kong does best - build enormous structures out of sticks and bits of string.

The first event of a three-day entertainment programme for the spouses of the world's business top guns was a demonstration by Wui Loong Scaffolding Works at the Heritage Museum in Sha Tin.

The scaffolding company built a six-metre high by 50-metre square traditional Chinese-style pavilion in only two hours.

However, of the expected 21 attendees, which was to have included the Chief Executive's wife, Betty Tung Chiu Hung-ping, only nine turned up.

Wui Loong managing director, Francis So, monitored his happy band throughout the construction process which started at 9.30 am.

It was so hot, that soon Mr So was soaked in his suit.

Unfortunately the pavilion - which was built to demonstrate a construction technique that has been in evidence in Hong Kong for more than 100 years - was pulled down soon after the guests left.

'It's amazing to see such art work!' exclaimed a San Francisco-based visitor who strolled through the red-carpeted pavilion.

'It's probably one of the most interesting parts here.'

Lai See was unable to confirm if Mrs Tung and the rest of the party were kept away from the demonstration over fears of being wolf-whistled at by workmen wearing their trousers at half-mast.

When in need: The Forum team have printed an emergency number on the back of entry passes to the event.

We thought we'd try them out.

Lai See - 'We're stuck in the Beer Castle in Wan Chai with no money.'

Duty Officer - 'This number is for medical, personal or situational emergencies.'

LS - 'This is all three! How many people have called this number?'

DO - 'Actually, you're the first.'

Male preserve: Shelly Lazarus, chairman and chief executive, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide; Carrie Yau Tsang Ka-lai, Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting, Hong Kong; Vandana Shiva, director, The Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology; Marjorie Yang, chairman Esquel Group, could all be suffering from a little testosterone overdose this morning.


Out of the 60 keynote speakers we counted at the Fortune Global Forum, they are the only women.

Crossed wires: AOL-Time Warner's Asiaweek magazine has a new look. This week's issue kicks off with a cover story on 'Asia's new generation of Young, Wired & Rich'.

The special is an introduction to 25 young Asians who are shaking up the region's business establishment.

Asiaweek 's stablemate in the region, Fortune magazine, has a cover story entitled, '25 Rising Stars - Global Leaders for the Next Generation'.

According to a group executive the duplication was nothing more than a 'total lack of co-ordination'.

On hold: Which might go some way to explaining why 1,400 accredited journalists are sharing 20 phones for local calls, three credit/call card phones for international calls and can't find any desktop computers.

Those wanting phone cards are told to 'find a 7-Eleven'.

Graphic: whee09gbz