Hutchison Whampoa

Lai See

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 July, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 19 July, 2004, 12:00am


There is an entertaining courtroom spat brewing in Singapore, where tycoon Oei Hong Leong is suing various parties for libel. A sample of last week's banter follows:

Mr Oei: '[Opposing counsel Davinder] Singh is trying to politicise the matter by suggesting that I went there to ... ingratiate myself to the government. Mr Singh, in your mind, you think the government is easy to [ingratiate]?'

The judge, rejecting Mr Singh's objections: 'It's a fair statement.'

Mr Singh: '... [B]ut it's designed so he can come out looking or smelling like roses in the newspaper.'

Judge: 'He has to smell like roses simply because you threw mud at him.'

Mr Oei's counsel, Michael Khoo: 'No mud, but dung.'

Judge: 'OK, enough of this.'

Orange appeal

A subscriber to Hong Kong's largest mobile network - Hutchison's 2G Orange service, which has 1.9 million customers - was surprised to see the words '3 Dualband/CDMA' across the familiar fruit logo on his latest bill.

The new reference was to Hutch's rather less popular CDMA service, which has attracted just 40,000 users. But its message seemed to be aimed not at confused customers but the Office of the Telecommunications Authority, which wants to take Hutch's CDMA licence back.

'Hands off our CDMA spectrum,' in other words.

all change

Obscurity has never been Lai See's style, but the last year has seen us plough this lonely Page 2 furrow. The times, however, are a changing and your favourite purveyor of inside stuff will be making a rather larger comeback tomorrow. We look forward to expanding the acquaintance.