LAI SEE
Lai See
by

Illegal parking again

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 May, 2014, 12:51am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 May, 2014, 1:07am

Some readers have commented at the apparent decline in coverage of Hong Kong's illegal parking scandal. The scandal being that despite large notices telling drivers not to park in certain areas or risk prosecution, little is done by the authorities to show they are serious about stopping it. So it continues, blocking traffic, causing inconvenience to people trying to use pick-up areas for their intended purpose and so on. This half-hearted approach is obviously condoned by senior police officers or else the force would take a more proactive approach in dealing with it. Having spoken to some police officers informally about this, some privately agree that this softly softly approach encourages low level law breaking.

Today's picture shows a Mercedes-Benz which we are reliably told blocked this space next to the tram line in Happy Valley for at least 90 minutes, if not longer last Friday lunchtime. It successfully prevented private cars and taxis from dropping people off or picking them up, and so these other vehicles had to stop in the main road, blocking the rest of the traffic.

 

Huadian Power surprises with HK$3.68b fat finger error

Those following Huadian Power International may be surprised to see that the value of its turnover rocketed to HK$3.68 billion. This exceeds by a considerable margin the range of the past 17 trading days which fluctuated between HK$13 million to HK$141 million a day. So what prompted yesterday's surge? A new deal? Some new technology for producing electricity on the cheap? No such luck. The stock exchange announced that a broker had crossed 620,000 shares at a price of HK$5,860 per share which differs significantly from the market price of the stock at the time of about HK$4.38. It must have been a very fat finger to cause that error.

 

Drug tariffs

We see that there has been yet another hiccup in the negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership. While there has reportedly been some progress in the Japan-US negotiations, Reuters reports, Japan has told the 11 other countries negotiating the pact, that there are five agricultural sectors it considers "sacred".

Thus it is unable to abolish tariffs on wheat, rice, dairy, sugar, beef and pork (counted as one). Our interest was piqued as to what Japan does not consider sacred. A scan of Japan's latest tariff schedules reveals, for example, zero tariffs on the import of extracts or tincture of cannabis and crude cocaine, and opium.

 

A Mandarin in Taipei

Mandarin Oriental has just opened a hotel in Taipei. Some may wonder why it did not do this some years ago. Possibly the company didn't think Taipei previously could sustain the sort of rates it wants to charge. According to the Taipei Times, Lin Ming-chun, owner of the land housing the hotel, told reporters after the new hotel's opening ceremony that mainland Chinese tourists were expected to account for more than 50 per cent of the guests.

The hotel is on 158 Dunhua North Road, near Songshan International Airport, and is reportedly being marketed as the most luxurious and one of the most expensive, if not the most expensive, hotel in Taipei at a standard rate of NT$16,500 (HK$4,243) a night.

Mandarin Oriental now operates, or has under development, 44 hotels in 25 countries, with 20 hotels in Asia, 10 in The Americas and 14 in Europe, Middle East and North Africa.

 

Banking is not all good

Kevin Roose is a journalist who wrote a book, Young Money, after following eight young graduates around for the first few years on Wall Street. He's been speaking about the pernicious effects of working for a bank on university leavers, who aren't sure what they are getting into, the website efinancialcareers reports. He says that several years in, some of the graduates find themselves "ruined".

"It gets them used to a standard of lifestyle they may not be able to replicate in any other industry," he said. "And it has a deleterious effect on creativity. It's not about having bags under your eyes. It destroys your ability to think in creative ways about what it means to build something of value."

However, if you genuinely want to make money and have big debts, then it could make a great career for these people.

 

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