• Fri
  • Jul 25, 2014
  • Updated: 3:53pm
Lai See
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 October, 2012, 3:03am

Police still seem hesitant to ticket luxury cars

BIO

Howard Winn has been with the South China Morning Post for two and half years after previous stints as business editor and deputy editor of The Standard, and business editor of Asia Times. His writing has also been published in the Far Eastern Economic Review, the Wall Street Journal, and the International Herald Tribune. He writes the Lai See column which focuses on the lighter side of business.
 

We watched with interest yesterday as police ticketed vehicles parked illegally in Wellington Street, Central. Unfortunately, they were ticketing commercial vans and trucks that were delivering material to shops and restaurants. However, the Mercedes-Benzes and other tycoon-mobiles also illegally parked were waved on, even though they took up more space. We watched as one Mercedes moved 10 metres up the street and was able to park again.

This reluctance to give anyone in anything resembling a luxury car a ticket while happily ticketing commercial vans is grotesque discrimination and a lot more besides. It is hardly encouraging for the rest of the society to see that there is one law for the rich and another for those who are not. In this instance, at 11.45 yesterday morning, the police cannot argue they were busy on other more important matters, since they were taking the time to issue tickets.

This practice invites a lack of respect for the police. They come over all belligerent when dealing with the little guys, but their body language visibly changes when dealing with drivers of luxury vehicles. This suggests their senior officers aren't telling them how to do the job properly.
 

HSBC's small print writ large

Some of the comments we have received in respect of our HSBC item yesterday suggest the need for some clarification. It will be recalled the item centred on a pop-up ad on HSBC's website. A reader wrote to say that he was offended by it when he logged on to his account last Saturday.

It read: "AccidentSurance - Double indemnity on death or disablement caused by public transport accidents." He observed that it was distasteful in that it appeared that the bank was trying to capitalise on people's fears in the wake of the recent ferry disaster.

Some comments we received suggest people thought it was some new kind of insurance policy. But those words on the pop-up ad are normally to be found in the small print of some of HSBC's insurance policies. So the admeisters at HSBC have plucked these words from the obscurity of the small print and turned them into an ad highlighting the double indemnity that is paid out should people travelling on public transport suffer an accident or death.

Our initial thought, along with our reader, that someone in the bank thought this was an opportune moment to highlight this feature of its accident insurance was apparently incorrect. HSBC says the ad had been running since September 1 and its presence on the site was an unfortunate coincidence. It was taken down on Monday.
 

Not the apple of Taiwan's eye

Apple Maps, one of the new features in Apple's latest mobile operating system, has been a source of irritation to many users owing to its inaccuracies. However, it is proving particularly irksome to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defence, which says that satellite images of sensitive military installations are freely available to iPhone 5 users, according to Phys.org a science, research and technology website.

The defence ministry reacted after the Taiwanese newspaper Liberty Times printed a satellite picture, downloaded with an iPhone 5, showing a top-secret long-range radar base in the northern county of Hsinchu. A defence spokesman said there was nothing it could do about pictures taken legally by commercial satellites. But he said Taiwan would be asking Apple to lower the resolution of satellite images of some confidential military establishments as it has previously asked Google to do with respect to the Google Earth program.
 

A tight grip on its brand

We recently wrote about how banks value the businesses they acquire and how long the names of the acquired banks survive in the new entity. We made the point that while some banks lend their "brand" to businesses they acquire, some, such as Goldman Sachs, don't. However, someone has pointed out that Goldman's operation with blue-blood Australian investment bank JBWere was known as Goldman Sachs JBWere. However, that was a joint venture and not controlled by Goldman, and the JBWere name disappeared when the entity was renamed Goldman Sachs & Partners in 2010 and Goldman Sachs last year when the partners were bought out.
 

Have you got any stories that Lai See should know about? E-mail them to howard.winn@scmp.com

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This article is now closed to comments

captam
The rich car owners have taken over the streets for their own selfish interests. Their drivers ignore both moving and parking regulations blatantly, knowing full well that the chances of prosecution are minimal.
This is all because of a policy called ‘Selective Traffic Enforcement Policy’ (“STEP” ) introduced in 1993. This was supposedly to enhance road safety and keep traffic moving smoothly.
It has been an abject failure because with the passage of time the level of enforcement against infringing drivers has softened progressively to the point where rules are held in contempt by the majority of drivers.
It is no longer safe enough for pedestrians to walk along pavements or across streets because their way is constantly blocked by infringing vehicles, their drivers arrogantly ignoring the mass inconveniences caused to pedestrians and also by their vehicles blocking streets and junctions.
It is a disgrace that the successive Commissioners of Police have allowed the situation to deteriorate to such a state.
 
 
 
 
 

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