• Mon
  • Apr 21, 2014
  • Updated: 1:53am
Lai See
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 October, 2012, 2:52am

Government contractors trash environment

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.
 

Environmentalists have been angered by the construction debris that government contractors have created in a scenic area near the Sai Kung Country Park. For reasons best known to itself, the government is building a pagoda near Pak A Village. However, the contractors have shown no regard for the environment and have trashed the area with construction debris and lumps of spilt concrete. Construction debris can also be found in a nearby stream.

The project is a district minor works project under the Sai Kung district council, which operates under the Home Affairs Bureau. When presented with photographic evidence of the despoilation, the bureau promptly conducted a site inspection and ordered the contractor to clear up the mess. We're told it is going to be issued a written warning.

There were fears that the district council planned to concrete over the path between Pak A and Tai She Wan Village on the edge of Snake Bay. However, we are assured by the government they are not planning such a move.

The question remains as to why a pagoda is being built at Pak A. The project costs over HK$1 million. This is a scenic area enjoyed by hikers and visitors by boat. One thought is that the department has too much money and has to spend it on ridiculous make-work projects like this for which there is no demand. As we have seen, the degradation to the environment in building this pagoda completely outweighs the "value" of the project.

Somebody should be kicked hard in the backside for this. First for proceeding with the project, and second for poor oversight of it.

Model fight night

Some 550 guests turned up for Hedge Fund Fight Nite on Thursday to watch 12 of their own slug it out in the boxing ring. The black tie dinner was staged in a marquee at the Indian Recreation Club in So Kon Po. It featured seven bouts, including one all-female contest that, unsurprisingly, attracted the most attention from the largely male audience. Rugby pundit Justin Sampson acted as MC, and there was further added value in the sprinkling of highly personable bikini-clad models.

The event, now in its sixth year, was organised by IronMonger Events and sponsored this year by Jax Coco. It raised HK$500,000 for the charities Operation Smile and Operation Breakthrough.

It's worth noting that a group of sports experts pulled together by ESPN some years ago determined that boxing was the most demanding sport in terms of a range of attributes that included endurance, strength, power, speed, agility, flexibility, hand-eye co-ordination, nerve, durability and analytic aptitude. So, well done, the boxers.

Support for Naylor Trust

When Hong Kong police superintendent Andy Naylor tragically died while taking part in an ironman triathlete event in New York in August, he was not on official duty. As a result, financial support for his family from the police force can only be limited. Naylor was on a rolling contract, so his family will not benefit from a pension.

A good friend of Naylor's, Steve Pengelly, raised £5,000 for prostate cancer two years ago in Hong Kong by growing a luxuriant handlebar moustache. This year, he will be growing it again and donating the proceeds to the Naylor Education Trust in Hong Kong, which has been set up to provide some support for Naylor's wife and children. Those wanting to donate can contact him at Stephen.Pengelly @controlrisks.com.

A sour taste

There's been a certain amount of pushback in Hong Kong against the mainland in recent months, in terms of the politics, economics, education, shopping and so on. But the huge sign for China Fairs at the MTR's Hong Kong Station seemed a bit over the top: "Get Free Admission to China Souring Fairs".

Finance jobs scarcer

It will come as no surprise to learn that financial sector jobs opportunities in Hong Kong have declined over the past year. According to the latest quarterly Job Barometer from headhunters eFinancialCareers, opportunities in the sector declined by 23 per cent in the third quarter compared with the same period last year.

Declines in Singapore and Australia were 5 per cent and 34 per cent respectively. For the Asia-Pacific overall, the decline was 16 per cent.

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

Share

Login

SCMP.com Account

or