Asia Miles good for almost everyone

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2003, 12:00am

Banks are notorious for their attention to small print, otherwise known as the boring but probably pivotal points that we can't be bothered reading.

One reader took it upon himself to wade through the terms and conditions of HSBC's mileage programme: transferring those bonus points into frequent-flyer miles.

The bank kindly faxed over the necessary form to fill in - and, of course, the details of how much it would cost to transfer miles across to the various air-miles programmes.

Lai See enjoyed the Asia Miles form in particular.

The card holder was asked to fill in a few details: membership number, personal details, address and telephone number, that kind of thing.

And of course there was the caveat at the bottom that you must adhere to the terms and conditions set out by Asia Miles.

You accept and agree that Asia Miles can be modified or terminated upon reasonable notice, among other things.

And then came the following sentence you had to agree to: 'I am over 2 years of age.'

Sure, definitely. But we wonder if they would be able to tell the difference between a legally binding contract and Play Dough for at least another year?

meet treat

Shareholder meetings are such predictable affairs.

Either it's a rubber stamp affair followed by a stampede for lunch boxes, or David Webb makes a cameo, asks lots of questions, makes lots of points, prompts some awkward um's and er's from directors, and then there is a stampede for lunch boxes.

At least at Legend Group's meeting yesterday, there was a bit of banter.

Mr Webb was challenging Legend executives on a number of issues.

For example, he asked questions about a general mandate on the placing of up to 20 per cent of new shares.

He also quizzed Legend chairman Liu Chuanzhi on the non-attendance of independent directors Professor Woo Chia-wei and Ting Lee-sen.

As they were not present, he argued, they should not be re-elected.

'If you look at Legend's development in the past few years, have we done anything that hurts the interests of minority shareholders?' Mr Liu lashed back.

Nor did he stop there.

'If you can't name any, that means our independent directors have done their job. I don't think it's fair to judge whether the independent directors have performed their duty or not simply by whether they attended today's meeting or not.'

Not one of the great debates of our time, but more entertaining than the usual mumblings.

counting down

Lai See has 1.4 billion seconds left to live.

So says

A reader very kindly suggested we might like to try this one out.

Similar to the Website that works out the probability of your plane crashing, www. deathclock. com is 'the Internet's friendly reminder that life is slipping away ...'

It provides a poignant statement: 'Like the hourglass of the Net, the Death Clock will remind you how short life is.'

Thankfully there are links to obituaries, how to prepare a will, body freezing, mortuaries and religious avenues to pursue.

Oh, and it does take into account whether or not you are a smoker, a pessimist or an optimist.

Fair enough, then. Hemlock, anyone?

the write stuff

Sick of Harry Potter? The following suggestions landed in Lai See's e-mail inbox - a few potential best-selling children's books:

The boy who died from eating all his vegetables

The children's guide to hitch-hiking

Curious George and the high-voltage fence

Dad's new wife, Robert

Fun four-letter words to know and share

Hammers, screwdrivers and scissors: an I-can-do-it book