"Do you know who I am?"
These were the last words I heard late one Friday night at one of Central's best-known clubs before I was punched in the face, thrown to the floor, dragged outside and dumped on a street in Lan Kwai Fong.
My crime? Trying to stop a Hong Kong princeling from taking over the DJ booth from one of the world's biggest techno DJs - a booking that had taken me nine months to line up.
And, no, I didn't know who he was before he struck me in the face, but a lot of other people present that night did. He's the scion of one of Hong Kong's most powerful families, and he prowls the city's nightspots with a team of bodyguards. These were the goons who dumped me on the street among the broken glass and cigarette butts while the club's security guards looked on nervously, too afraid to intervene.
This entitled young man fancies himself as a bit of a DJ, as does one of his best friends - another notorious local princeling, with an equally toxic reputation. Both can often be seen out late at night in Central. With a bellyful of champagne, a posse of models to impress and a USB stick containing dance remixes of today's hottest pop hits, they are always ready to invade the DJ booth. And when they decide it's time to rock the dance floor, nobody dares stop them.
Singapore's Zouk club may have hit the headlines this month when it pushed aside one of the DJs from trance legends Aly & Fila so the son of Malaysia's prime minister could have a spin, but this nonsense has been going on in our region for years. Hopefully, the backlash suffered by Zouk will embolden other club owners, so the next time some entitled brat with little musical ability tries to muscle out a professional DJ who has worked his butt off to get in that booth, some resistance will be offered.