The many economical and ecological benefits to using human excrement and urine as fertiliser are not to be sniffed at. Fred Pearce gets to grips with a sorely underused resource.
Sabrina Chao rises to top of Wah Kwong. Is Forbes' top 50 next?
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Good to see there's no glass ceiling at Wah Kwong Maritime Transport where Sabrina Chao has become chairman.
True, she has been elevated to chairman of the family firm but she was given an honorable mention by Forbes Magazine when it announced its inaugural "Asia's 50 Power Businesswomen" last year. While she didn't actually make it into the top 50 she was top of its "15 Women to Watch" list which the magazine believes will show up in its future rankings.
At 38 she is one of the youngest chairmen in the industry. She is a third-generation Chao, the daughter of George Chao, who now becomes president.
E-mail attacks Goldman
A curious e-mail is doing the rounds accusing a Goldman Sachs analyst of plagiarism. The e-mail from somebody calling themselves "Whistleblower" was sent to about 80 people in the financial community.
The e-mail claims the analyst copied parts of his reports from research reports by an analyst with an obscure mainland stockbroker.
Whistleblower writes: "Buyside clients are paying GS millions of bucks each year just to see their plagiarised reports from some unknown Chinese brokers? We urge you to take legal actions against [the analyst] and Goldman Sachs for their material misleading in stock research reports without adequate basis and lack of due diligence."
Goldman is understood to be studying the allegations along with the alleged evidence. There is some speculation the e-mail was sent by an embittered ex-Goldman employee. Initial investigations appear to show the alleged plagiarised material came from public sources.
"We are looking into the matter but it's too early to say any more about it at this stage," Edward Naylor, Goldmans' spokesman in Hong Kong, told Lai See yesterday.
Eight police, two yellow lines
A few weeks ago we wrote that the police appeared to be taking a tougher line on the vexed matter of illegal parking, with talk from a senior officer of towing vehicles away. That appears to have been a premature thought. It's been double-parking as usual outside the Fook Lam Moon in Wan Chai - otherwise known as the tycoons' canteen - where a reader noticed a Mercedes parked on double yellow lines.
He alerted two policeman but was informed they were from the police tactical unit and did not issue parking tickets. Then they were joined by two more officers and after some discussion they politely told our reader to go away and that they "would deal with the matter".
However, he stood his ground and 20 minutes later a van appeared with another four policemen and one of them finally ticketed the Mercedes. For his pains, our reader was asked to produce his ID since he had reported "the offence".
On that occasion it took eight police officers to ticket an illegally parked car.
Obey the rule of law
How interesting to read - in this newspaper yesterday - an interview with the mainland's first environmental protection chief, talking with considerable regret about the pollution mess. Interestingly he attributes it to "the rule of men" as opposed to the "rule of law".
"Their rule imposed no checks on power and allowed governments to ignore environmental protection laws and regulations," he said. Obviously Hong Kong has not suffered the same level of environmental degradation as the mainland. But it is clear that previous administrations have paid scant attention to the law with regard to air quality, for example.
The Director of Audit's report last year into the implementation of air quality improvement measures notes, that under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance, the Environmental Protection Department was required to meet air quality objectives as soon as was reasonably practical and thereafter to maintain the quality. But these conditions were never met since being adopted in 1987. This is because the government ignored these laws and as a result we now find ourselves with our present mess.
The spirit of the law was flouted over the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, and it's going to be interesting to see how the Airport Authority gets round the problem of meeting the legal air quality limits with its proposed third runway.
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