Fung shui master Tony Chan Chun-chuen has apologised to the public for his love affair with the late billionaire Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum, saying he was a bad role model. He need not have bothered. The only ones he hurt were himself and his family. Most observers found his epic court battle for Wang's multibillion-dollar estate amusing entertainment. The probate battle opened a window on what is widely known but rarely discussed in public. Some of our most famous tycoons and largest corporations splash absurd amounts of money on an elite group of fung shui masters, who do not usually charge for their godly services but accept what is euphemistically called lai see. Wang - much touted for her business acumen - was just an extreme example. Fung shui consultations are popular in any Chinese society. Even the government-funded Applied Science and Technology Research Institute admitted in 2007 that it had spent HK$181,000 on fung shui consultation services over four years. Companies large and small, foreign and local, are known to consult fung shui masters when they open a new office, move or are about to launch a big project. We do not know if fung shui really can promote good luck and fortune or whether its practitioners are charlatans. But it is fair to say there is no way to determine their value for money on a company balance sheet. Because of Chan, the city's taxmen have clarified that the lai see received for fung shui consultations is taxable income. Chan has no doubt earned the eternal animus of his fung shui colleagues, but the city's coffers have much to thank him for.