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  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 10:40pm
Lai See
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 October, 2013, 3:56am

Hong Kong is one of the world's most heavily policed territories


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.

It may come as a surprise to learn that Hong Kong is the fifth most heavily policed territory in the world, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). It has 450.7 police officers per 100,000 of the population. The top ranked country in terms of the number of police is Russia with 564.6 per 100,000, followed by Turkey with 474.8, Italy with 467.2 and Portugal with 454.2. The US has 256 police officers per 100,000. There is perhaps some distortion due to the Marine Police whose work would otherwise by done by a navy or coastguard. To hear some of the grumbling from the police force you would think they were understaffed. But that doesn't seem to be the case when compared internationally. And they still can't be bothered to sort out the illegal car parking mess.


Support for women execs

Aspiring women executives in Hong Kong have another opportunity to accelerate their careers by participating in the Ivey Executive MBA Programme.

For the second year running, the Ivey Business School (Ivey Asia) together with the Women's Foundation are linking up to support the Women's Foundation Scholarship for the Ivey Executive MBA Programme.

The aim of the partnership is to support aspiring women executives to accelerate their careers through participating in the scheme. Su-Mei Thompson, chief executive of the Women's Foundation, said: "Initiatives such as this scholarship programme can play a significant role in building a pipeline of women for executive and non-executive roles. This scholarship dovetails with our mission to challenge gender stereotypes and increase the number of women in decision-making and leadership positions."

Applicants initially have until November 29 to apply for the six scholarships. Scholarship winners receive a 30 per cent discount on Ivey tuition fees.


Cooking up a storm

The Food and Drug Law Institute's conference in Beijing on China-US Updates in Food and Drugs Law got off to a lame start yesterday. Six US officials weren't able to speak due to the US federal government funding lapse/partial shutdown. This included Christopher Hickey, the China country director, who was supposed to be delivering the opening keynote address for the USFDA. One can only wonder what the mainland Chinese participants made of this situation from what is supposed to be most powerful country in the world.

Lin Yuan, acting director-general at the Department of International Co-operation, was supposed to make the opening remarks from the Chinese side. But he too was unable to take part due to an "unexpected scheduling change". Possibly too busy working on the mainland's latest food scandal.


Who's singing now?

The looming US government shutdown has attracted considerable comment. Few are as succinct as the Financial Times columnist John Gapper with his witty tweet: "Fat lady sings. WSJ editorial page tells the Republicans to stop messing about and sign a debt deal." Warren Buffett has also been fuming about the row on CNBC, calling it "idiocy". He said that using the debt ceiling as a budget bargaining chip basically turns it into a "political weapon of mass destruction" pointed at the American people. This followed a cameo performance the previous evening when he surprised those that attended Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit by joining Glenn Close in a performance of The Glory of Love while playing his ukulele.


Cockroaches fly off the shelves

There is a gripping story in the Los Angeles Times about mainland farmers pinning their futures on cockroaches. The insects - a source of revulsion for many - can fetch up to US$20 a pound (US$44 a kilogram) when dried. They are used in Asian cosmetic and medicine industries that value them a cheap source of protein as well as for the cellulose-like substance on their wings. The price of the insects has risen from about US$2 a pound in 2010. There are now thought to be about 100 farms on the mainland. The insects are used in traditional Chinese medicines, and research is apparently under way on the mainland and in South Korea on using them in treatments for baldness, Aids and cancer and as a vitamin supplement.


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

These figures are meaningless because the remit of the Hong Kong police is much wider. They carry out functions that elsewhere are handled by the military and other agencies. Howard has hinted at this, but he failed to mention the manpower on the land border and other functions. Nonetheless, it makes a good headline for Howard to display his usual grumpiness towards the police.
But Hong Kong police can't catch the dog poisoner(s). Actually, who were they that could never be caught?
Cowed by street mobs and wooly headed magistrates, Hong Kong constabulary is now essentially a uniform corps of scattered scarecrows in city streets. That's why we need a lot of them.
You're right. We are a police state with zombie cops. In the US, police use full strength Mace and Taser guns to subdue unruly mobs. When Katrina ravaged New Orleans, National Guards summoned up to keep order were given shoot-to-kill-looters instructions.
Should we conclude HK is now more "democratic" and observant of "human rights" than the US? If so, why do our politicians and street mobs keep using these words if they do know what they mean?
Sure you must have seen young people breaking through barricades and verbally abusing the police. The foul-mouthed teacher would have garnered in New York at least an 18-month jail sentence for disorderly conduct, misdemeanor, resisting arrest and hate language, which is punishable by law in many parts of US. Instead, she is lionized by the press as a freedom fighter.
Frequent demonstrators are now praised by the media as idealistic people and deserve to be cut some slack - non-compliance with HK ordinances - because of their noble goals to democratize the rest of us. Benny Tai, a law professor no less, says rule of law must be subordinated to his personal higher calling - his Christian faith and mission to establish democratic Utopia here and now.
I support the Hong Kong Police :)
To the Dislike:
Why dislike my post? It is a fact that the dog poisoner(s) is / are at large. Or you actually know to my question who poisoned those dogs? Or you have a fat finger and click it wrong. Without a reply, your dislike is absurd and it is a void. May you never be a dog in your next life in Hong Kong if the 'mystery' remains unresolved. .
I love pets, although my frequent travels prevent me owning them because of the regular chores – grooming, visits to the vets, etc. - necessary for their well being.
Pets are eternal babies. But they don't have upside or downside, with the potential to grow up into Einsteins, nor a lifelong pain in the neck inflicted by a thoughtless, arrogant and ignorant Scholarism brat.
Dog murders should be severely punished. That doesn't mean I disapprove the culinary preferences of some Koreans and Chinese. Delicacies are rooted in culture. French and Chinese tolerance of alien food preferences, chacun a son gout, should be a good example for all of us.
Some dog killers may have been motivated by doody soiling their shoes during strolls along Bowen Road. I propose the elimination of this criminal intent by passing a new ordinance by Legco: Pet owners who don't pick up the droppings must be ordered to eat them.
Yes, I was educated once by a French descendent who I took to Chinatown for dim sum. She ordered the chicken feet and ate them most proficiently. She said her grandmother loved them. Sure I had a great time.
Yes you get a fine if you don't pick up after your dog in NYC. I don't think there is such a law in Paris. The French invented a machine to do the pick up and sanitize the street afterwards. I don't know if French eats dog but besides chicken feet, definitely snails and frogs as you may already know. I think people except the American eat 'everything'.
The Bowen Road Dog Poisoner(s), your soiled shoe connection is pretty on the mark. For Sherlock Holms once a motive is established, crime can be easily solved and the dog killer(s) can easily be apprehended. Strangely never did. Yes the road is not well lit at night.
or a hate crime. The US refused to prosecute it as a hate crime or hate speech even though people around the world died because of it. And then you have those crazy fundamental and evangelical Christian groups in the US (and elsewhere) that want to make a statement by burning the Koran – once again, a hateful act and also reminiscent of the Nazi’s burning Torah’s and other faith’s religious books (something that has happened quite repeatedly in the US as well by groups such as the KKK and various neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups) but in many (but not all) jurisdictions in the US, protected speech.
The Taiping was a Christian cult just like many of the so-called house churches on the mainland. Many of those churches – and some in HK as well – practice a version of Christianity that the mainstream would not necessarily recognize and definitely not considered orthodox. That’s not to make a value judgment, it is just an observation. Even in the US and in Western countries you have lots of ‘Christian’ and other religious cults. Belief should not be criminalized, only action. Insofar as superstitious practices you have lots of them in Chinese culture just like every other culture does including Western culture. Once again, as long as no ‘harm’ is done to others and its voluntary, it should be tolerated.
The ‘infiltration’ of FG into the CCP was clearly an issue but not as much of an issue until 10,000 showed up one morning unannounced to make a political statement. Do
You're totally wrong. You obviously know little about Western democracy and even less about China, Chinese culture and history.
In New York City and New Jersey suburbs, there are many ordinances against hate speech. A high school student in Bergen County exclaiming something as innocent as Yiddish "Oy vey" was suspended.
Falun Gong is much more insidious than you think. Before being banned, they were tolerated as other officially sanctioned religious organizations in China. Gradually, they acquired aggressive and subversive cultist characteristics of Tai Ping rebellion and White Lotus Cult in past Imperial China. Tens of millions laobaixing perished from these rebellions in our history.
Mainlanders who objected to FG superstitious practices in Zhigong were subjected to cultists’ frequent massive physical and verbal harassment. A TV station was besieged by demonstrators until the commentator criticizing FG was fired from his job. A physics professor in Beijing demystifying their charlatanism was daily surrounded in his home and followed around the university campus by hordes of FG followers chanting curses. Still the Beijing government took no action.
Eventually, the authorities became aware that some high level planning staff in Zhong Nan Hai were infected by this cultist disease. That's when Beijing put a stop to it.
The founder of the cult now lives in the lap of luxury in Long Island, thanks to the contributions of the cultists.




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