Meditech man tries to show he's one of us

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 December, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 December, 2001, 12:00am

Crisis management was in full flow at a Golden Meditech luncheon yesterday.

Chairman Kam Yuen was attempting to smooth the path to the medical equipment company's listing on the Growth Enterprise Market later this month.

Mr Kam must have been watching with abject horror as shares in mainland private enterprise Clear Media tumbled 8.3 per cent on its GEM debut yesterday morning.

Brokers speculated that the poor performance was due to investors' aversion to mainland private enterprises such as coolant distributor Greencool, which has been surrounded by negative reports over product claims.

Contemporaries such as Zhejiang Glass and Mudan Automobile have also fallen below their initial public offering price.

However, Mr Kam - a Beijinger with a perfect Beijing accent - was quick to distance his company from the mainland.

Mr Kam pointed out that he has lived in Hong Kong for about six years, and so was not far away from getting his permanent residency.

According to a lunch attendee, Mr Kam hinted that his company should be treated as a foreign-invested enterprise in China, not a so-called mainland private enterprise.

Unhealthy warning: In the latest shock government health warning the public are warned that eating a bucket of sodium nitrate is not good for you.

By not eating large quantities of harmful chemicals you will most likely live longer, advises Food and Environmental Hygiene Department consultant Ho Yuk-yin.

Lai See commends public safety announcements but sometimes we think they are treading a fine line between warning and scare mongering.

Take for example the latest warning over preserved meat or lap mei - the stuff hung in SAR shops resembling road-kill.

Department tests found that three out of 69 samples contained too much of the preservative sodium nitrate.

And this is bad, says Dr Ho. In fact, four grams could kill you.

Using our rudimentary mathematical skills and the knowledge that each of the three suspect samples contained a higher than recommended 1,000 parts per million sodium nitrate level, we calculated that you would have to eat 40,000 pieces of lap mei before you popped your clogs.

That's about 400 tonnes of meat.

If you start eating lap mei at age five and provided (a) you don't get run over by a bus and (b) live to 75, you would have to eat just over one-and-a-half lengths of dried sausage every day of your life in order to take in four grams of sodium nitrate.

Next week, the Government warns: Eating eight tonnes of cling film will give you a headache.

Strung out: The cynical would say that e-cards are a cop-out for sending the real thing and companies are just trying to save money.

However, we are not cynical.

What we do have a problem with is that there is now a long piece of green string suspended above our fireplace where normally one might find a colourful display of festive greetings cards. Bah humbug.

Blind spot: We do have one card. It was sent by 'mother' and is at least 30cm high.

This is unfortunate as the HK$9 tree we bought from Wellcome supermarket is only 25 cms high and is now completely obscured by the card.

Kabul stew: Quote of the month comes from a story in The Asian Wall Street Journal regarding the sorry state of Kabul Zoo. The bird collection has been eaten as have the goats in the petting park.

According to a former mujahedeen soldier: 'It wasn't that people were hungry. It was just more interesting to eat there.'

Graphic: whee20gbz



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