Jake's View

Those village golfers really know how to play the game

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 August, 2013, 2:53am

Some 800 indigenous villagers enjoy free access because of a deal their ancestors struck when they sold the land to the [golf] club's owners decades ago. Last year those villagers played almost 14,000 rounds of golf on the courses, the club said.

South China Morning Post,
July 31

There must be some dynamite golfers among these villagers by now. Do the arithmetic. It works out to 17.5 rounds a year per villager and, assuming that only a third of them are really disposed to golf, we would have 266 of them on the course every week.

Then again, all of them may be golfers and this is how their names wound up on the list when the cut was made seven years ago, although it would indicate a curiously high proportion of golf enthusiasts for an average New Territories population.

Might there be an even higher proportion of not quite local Heung Yee Kuk heavyweights among them? Purely by chance, of course. Just asking.

Nonetheless, I must now recant any sympathy I had for redevelopment of one of the three Fanling courses into housing for the needy of the New Territories.

The club's own need of all three courses is clearly greater if, out of the goodness of its heart, it is so accommodating to its neighbours.

I note, however, that these rights are not inheritable.

When the indigenous villagers all pass away, might the club no longer object to redevelopment of one of the courses? Just asking.


[Pay-television provider i-Cable Communications] said "the overwhelmingly dominant player in Hong Kong", without naming it, had become more aggressive and that it "is not healthy at all and should come under close and immediate scrutiny".

South China Morning Post,
August 9

How odd to speak of an "overwhelmingly dominant player" in what is now the underwhelmingly minor business of Pay TV.

Things were different 20 years ago when Wharf Holdings was the surprise winner of a government tender for a cable network in competition with the monopoly communications provider, Hongkong Telephone. Hutchison had been expected to win the contract but Wharf outbid Hutch.

After many years of the tired, often fuzzy offerings of ATV and TVB, everyone waited expectantly for the crystal clear multi-channel television service promised by what is now called i-Cable.

And waited...

And waited too long for too little while Wharf regretted paying too much and sought to make up for it by controlling build-out expenditure too tightly.

Along came NOW Broadband and took the Pay TV crown away. It was Wharf's own fault, I say.

But it means ever less these days. The communications business is changing so fast that Pay TV scheduled by the clock and delivered by a network provider to a living room screen will soon compete with five-inch floppy disks for museum space.

The only strong market left is sports TV in bars, and may the two providers drive the fees for it as high as they please. I may then yet find a few bars that cannot afford it, bars where my mates and I can have a quiet beer and not be driven off by the howling hype of sportscasters.

Not healthy at all? Our bureaucrats may be a humourless lot but even they will raise a laugh.


To provide some time-limited relief to small and medium [sic] enterprises (SMEs) in Hong Kong, Hongkong Post Office will provide a 5 per cent rebate for the first HK$3,000 of stamps purchased or postage incurred by SMEs in Hong Kong, subject to a rebate cap at HK$150 per eligible SME, during the three-month period from October 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013.

Circular to members,
Hong Kong Employers Federation

And just what might be the administrative cost of paper processing to ensure that no SME has slithered around the rules for a rebate check of more than HK$150?

But why bother. This one speaks for itself.