Mui Wo parking out of control
We have long moaned about illegal parking and the lack of police effort to control it. However, we understand that illegal parking is completely out of control in Mui Wo in South Lantau. As our picture shows, whole pavement areas have been taken over as permanent car parks, forcing pedestrians many of whom are children and elderly to walk in the road.
Since many of the village streets are narrow these vehicles are a hazard for passing traffic, particularly trucks and buses. Local residents say they are infuriated by the lack of action by the police. This is particularly galling since there is little else for them to do.
The problem has worsened over the past two years following the issuing of a large number of vehicle permits to Mui Wo residents. Since then not only has illegal parking got worse but so have the incidents of speeding and jumping red lights. Two people have been killed recently in traffic accidents and residents are wondering what it will take to get the police to enforce the traffic regulations.
Duck is welcome but fantasies still waddle on to yearbook pages
We are pleased to see that the government's yearbook Hong Kong 2013 continues its improvement. The new editor last year successfully shortened it by 77 pages and has made it more accessible by slashing the bureaucratic verbiage so beloved of department heads and choosing more interesting photographs.
This year's frontispiece is a cheery photograph of the yellow duck floating off the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. There is an enlightening picture section entitled "Beneath Hong Kong", showing rare photographs of among other things, the underground sewage treatment works in Stanley constructed in a cavern. Legislative councillors are no longer ranked by order of precedence, but are more usefully listed alphabetically.
We were intrigued to learn there is a Greening Landscape and Tree Management Section within the Development Bureau. However, some departmental reports appear somewhat fanciful. Under Harbourfront Enhancement we're told the government is pushing ahead "the design, development, operation and management of harbourfront projects with a creative and innovative mindset under a flexible framework to realise the long-term objectives of an attractive vibrant, accessible and sustainable harbourfront". A chance would be a fine thing.
Under the Government Record Service there is more poetic licence: "GRS appraises, acquires, preserves and provides access to government records of enduring value." And again, "GRS encourages understanding, use and protection of Hong Kong's documentary heritage." We know from the enormous destruction of government documents without proper vetting that this is completely untrue. The Director of Audit observed in his 2011 report that the GRS had failed miserably in practically every aspect of its remit.
LME won't stand for it
Copper trading at the London Metal Exchange has been a tad unruly recently. So much so that the exchange has fined almost all the dealers buying and selling copper on its open-outcry floor a total of £13,750 (HK$182,000) and suspended one for standing up during a trading session, Bloomberg reports.
Seven traders were fined £1,250 each for breaking a rule that states dealers must remain seated at all times while dealing on the LME floor.
"The LME operates a ring, not a pit," Kathy Alys, a spokeswoman for the exchange, said. "Dealers that stand create an unfair advantage and might obstruct the view of other dealers and LME pricing committee members."
Have you got any stories that Lai See should know about? E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org