Lai See

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 January, 2012, 12:00am


Five illegal parkers equal one litterer

David Webb, editor of, was present at the scene, as the police like to say, and was able to snap this swoop on cars illegally parked on Ice House Street, next to the Landmark in Central. Webb reports that the officer in charge of the ticketing team admitted that the road would fill up as soon as the police left.

He makes the point that as long as the fixed penalty is only HK$320 (fixed on June 1, 1994), it is cheaper than paying for parking if you only get caught once every 10 hours or less often. Plus, the convenience of being picked up quickly by one's driver makes it worth more than that: 'I think they need to increase the fines to say HK$1,500 for the first offence and HK$3,000 for each subsequent offence in a rolling 12-month period.'

Webb says that the police cannot possibly cover the streets sufficiently to deter illegal car parking at the current level of fine. That may well be true, but a few more swoops of the kind he captured on camera at least creates a degree of uncertainty in the mind of the offender that he may or may not be fined. Until recently there was virtually zero chance of being fined. Webb points out that littering in a public place incurs a fixed penalty of HK$1,500 and asks: 'Which is more disruptive to public interest?'

To which we would add that giving a few penalty points would provide an added disincentive.

Good to the last drop

In 2005, Sky Connection, the company that runs the airport's liquor and tobacco concession, took a punt and bought six bottles of Glenfiddich 1937, which at the time were the last remaining bottles of the world's oldest and most expensive Scotch whisky.

The first bottle was sold for about HK$380,000 and with each purchase, the price was increased. We understand that some time last year the last bottle was sold for an eye-watering HK$888,000, which works out at about HK$31,700 per shot. Inevitably the buyer was from the mainland, though somewhat surprisingly he paid in cash.

But there is more. Two months later, he returned to the store and announced that he enjoyed it so much he wanted to buy another one. Alas, there are no more bottles of this vintage for sale. The only other bottle of 1937 resides in the Glenfiddich museum.

The cask of this famous whisky was opened in 2001 by malt master David Stewart, who, in his tasting notes, described a 'rich walnut, dark amber and antique bronze colour - and a huge nose with the enticing aromas of poached pears, toffee, cinnamon and cloves. The palate begins with smooth, sweet chocolate and treacle flavours, with cedar, oak and bitter chocolate notes - leaving a lingering smoky tobacco and fruit-cake finish.' So cheap at the price.

Bum note

Everyone makes a spelling mistake from time to time. Some are worse than others. Credit Suisse made one recently which you would have to rate as spectacular. It occurred, the Evening Standard reports, in a research note on commodities and the state of the North Sea oil industry. 'In the UK offshore, a veritable anus horribilis appears to have played out,' it says. As the newspaper wittily observes, 'Talk about the bottom falling out of the oil market.'

Victory Rolls

The car firm Rolls-Royce has been giving itself a pat on the bonnet recently after the announcement of the best sales results in its 107-year history. Last year, 3,538 cars were sold globally, a 31 per cent rise on the 2010 total of 2,711, according to the firm's website.

The results caused a stir in Britain, where good performance by a British company is received with some surprise, but also because British bosses, according to the Evening Standard, bought record numbers of the iconic cars last year.

A company spokesman, interviewed on the BBC, gushingly described the company's performance as 'a celebration of Britishness'. 'The British love Rolls-Royce. We should take a moment to reflect on this great British success story,' said Torsten Muller-Otvos, the German chief executive of the carmaker now owned by BMW.

Havana moan

Twitter is experiencing some heat in Cuba, where it is being accused by the Cuban authorities of working on behalf of the US government to destabilise the country. The government has worked itself into a lather over reports on Twitter announcing the death of Fidel Castro. According to the Daily Telegraph, Cuban government officials said these rumours were spread by 'necrophiliac counter-revolutionaries'.