Fortune stick warns of political, economic challenges

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 February, 2013, 4:16pm
UPDATED : Monday, 11 February, 2013, 7:00pm

The Year of the Snake could be a bad one for Hong Kong, according to a stick drawn in a Taoist fortune-telling ceremony on Monday morning.

Lau Wong-fat, chairman of the Heung Yee Kuk, drew a stick of the worst category at Che Kung Temple in Sha Tin.

Sticks of the same category were drawn in 2003, when Hong Kong was inflicted with severe acute respiratory syndrome, and in 2009, when it was hit by the global financial turmoil.

The stick, number 95, describes a person who leaves home in a glamorous horse cart but returns in bare feet. The last two lines of the verse say: “Is it that [the person] is not as capable as the others? It also looks like [he] has lost all his money in business.”

It reminds Hongkongers to “beware of wicked people”, and says “nothing is going well”.

Lau tried to put a positive face on it, saying, “An unlucky stick could be good, too.” It’s nothing to be worried about, he added.

He refused to venture an interpretation of who the “wicked people” were.

Wan Ka-cheung, a fortune teller invited by the kuk to interpret the stick, said Hong Kong would do well if the city’s leader paid more attention to the public’s demands.

But another fortune teller at the temple, Chu Ling-ling, said the stick meant uncertainties would trouble the economy. The horse cart mentioned in the verse was a reference to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who was born in the Year of the Horse, she said.

There will be political turmoil, and although Leung will not fare too badly in the first half of the Year of the Snake, he could face trouble towards the end of it.

“Wicked people” could refer to a lot of people, and was not a specific reference, she said. Small businesses and the textile industry could face the biggest hardship this year, Chu said.