Wee Kek Koon

Wee Kek Koon

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Reflections | ‘Misfortunes do not strike only once’: the ancient Chinese phrase Hongkongers know only too well

The origins of the ancient Chinese saying lie in an anthology of historical morality tales, Garden of Persuasions.

24 Feb 2020 - 9:05AM

The origins of the ancient Chinese saying lie in an anthology of historical morality tales, Garden of Persuasions.

‘Misfortunes do not strike only once’: the ancient Chinese phrase Hongkongers know only too well
Reflections | Wuhan has survived war, invasion and revolution – it will get through the coronavirus outbreak

The central Chinese city has become infamous for all the wrong reasons, but its historical importance should not be overlooked.

17 Feb 2020 - 9:00AM

The central Chinese city has become infamous for all the wrong reasons, but its historical importance should not be overlooked.

Wuhan has survived war, invasion and revolution – it will get through the coronavirus outbreak
Reflections | Our society is fractured, but imperial Chinese history shows we are not the first to be divided

Hong Kong’s ‘yellow and blue’ economy exposes a split in society that has widened in recent months.

6 Feb 2020 - 9:30AM

Hong Kong’s ‘yellow and blue’ economy exposes a split in society that has widened in recent months.

Our society is fractured, but imperial Chinese history shows we are not the first to be divided
Reflections | Addressing the emperor in ancient China and the evolving absurdities of honorifics

Terms of deference have existed throughout Chinese history, some coming from curious origins.

30 Jan 2020 - 6:24AM

Terms of deference have existed throughout Chinese history, some coming from curious origins.

Addressing the emperor in ancient China and the evolving absurdities of honorifics
Reflections | By targeting Maxim’s outlets, Hong Kong protesters recall China’s vengeful past

Throughout Chinese history, arbitrary punishments have been meted out for nothing more than familial ties.

25 Jan 2020 - 11:24AM

Throughout Chinese history, arbitrary punishments have been meted out for nothing more than familial ties.

By targeting Maxim’s outlets, Hong Kong protesters recall China’s vengeful past
Reflections | HSBC’s guardian lions are a Chinese cultural tradition, but the animals were not native to East Asia, so where did they come from?

While not native to East Asia, the Chinese probably made first contact with the big cats during the Han period, when the empire expanded into Central Asia.

16 Jan 2020 - 11:58AM

While not native to East Asia, the Chinese probably made first contact with the big cats during the Han period, when the empire expanded into Central Asia.

HSBC’s guardian lions are a Chinese cultural tradition, but the animals were not native to East Asia, so where did they come from?
Reflections | If Carrie Lam is ‘governing without action’, it is not working very well

The Taoist philosophy is best understood as taking minimum action and leaving things to run their natural course. But in testing times the passive approach might not be advisable.

9 Jan 2020 - 9:26AM

The Taoist philosophy is best understood as taking minimum action and leaving things to run their natural course. But in testing times the passive approach might not be advisable.

If Carrie Lam is ‘governing without action’, it is not working very well
Reflections | China has a rich musical history full of foreign influences, so why do so many contemporary pop stars choose covers?

Other peoples and cultures have made a significant impression on the country’s aural output, but copying has become more common in recent years. Where is the originality?

2 Jan 2020 - 1:25PM

Other peoples and cultures have made a significant impression on the country’s aural output, but copying has become more common in recent years. Where is the originality?

China has a rich musical history full of foreign influences, so why do so many contemporary pop stars choose covers?
Reflections | Chinese emperors might not have faced impeachment, but they were not immune to removal from rule

The power of rulers’ in imperial China was absolute, but they were still at risk of being overthrown by adversaries.

29 Dec 2019 - 11:00AM

The power of rulers’ in imperial China was absolute, but they were still at risk of being overthrown by adversaries.

Chinese emperors might not have faced impeachment, but they were not immune to removal from rule
Reflections | Dental care in ancient China was quite advanced, although not up to modern standards

More than 2,000 years ago, Chinese physicians were treating patients’ teeth, sometimes successfully.

21 Dec 2019 - 11:00AM

More than 2,000 years ago, Chinese physicians were treating patients’ teeth, sometimes successfully.

Dental care in ancient China was quite advanced, although not up to modern standards
Reflections | Getting to the roots of dentistry in ancient China – it wasn’t as rudimentary as you might think

A forerunner to modern mouthwash was recorded as early as 94BC, while brushes appeared not much later.

12 Dec 2019 - 8:00PM

A forerunner to modern mouthwash was recorded as early as 94BC, while brushes appeared not much later.

Getting to the roots of dentistry in ancient China – it wasn’t as rudimentary as you might think
Reflections | The tale of the two Han Xins: in imperial China, being capable could get you killed

Emperor Liu Bang of the Western Han dynasty had two Han Xin’s working for him, until, threatened by their competence, he terminated their employment.

4 Dec 2019 - 7:00PM

Emperor Liu Bang of the Western Han dynasty had two Han Xin’s working for him, until, threatened by their competence, he terminated their employment.

The tale of the two Han Xins: in imperial China, being capable could get you killed
Reflections | ‘Fake news’ and rumours are rife in Hong Kong – be wise and think twice before you hit that forward button

Misinformation has long been a tool of those wishing to unsettle society, as seen in imperial China.

28 Nov 2019 - 8:55AM

Misinformation has long been a tool of those wishing to unsettle society, as seen in imperial China.

‘Fake news’ and rumours are rife in Hong Kong – be wise and think twice before you hit that forward button
Reflections | Vegetarianism in China is nothing new: meat-free diets have ancient origins

Contrary to popular belief, plant-based diets existed in the Middle Kingdom long before Buddhism came to the country

21 Nov 2019 - 9:22AM

Contrary to popular belief, plant-based diets existed in the Middle Kingdom long before Buddhism came to the country

Vegetarianism in China is nothing new: meat-free diets have ancient origins
Reflections | Brunch in the evening? In Chinese and English, words have changed meaning over time

Social media and an online generation have sped up the process by which definitions evolve and neologisms emerge.

16 Nov 2019 - 11:00AM

Social media and an online generation have sped up the process by which definitions evolve and neologisms emerge.

Brunch in the evening? In Chinese and English, words have changed meaning over time
Reflections | Shenzhen is home to the tomb of the last emperor of China’s Southern Song dynasty

In a modest mausoleum in the city’s Chiwan District is alleged to be the remains of Zhao Bing, who was still a child when his dynasty fell.

7 Nov 2019 - 1:14PM

In a modest mausoleum in the city’s Chiwan District is alleged to be the remains of Zhao Bing, who was still a child when his dynasty fell.

Shenzhen is home to the tomb of the last emperor of China’s Southern Song dynasty
Reflections | In China, genetic testing can determine if people are descendants of emperors. What good is that?

Surely genetic readings of a person’s susceptibility to certain diseases is more beneficial than blue blood?

1 Nov 2019 - 5:21PM

Surely genetic readings of a person’s susceptibility to certain diseases is more beneficial than blue blood?

In China, genetic testing can determine if people are descendants of emperors. What good is that?
Reflections | Why has Hong Kong adopted Halloween when it already has the Hungry Ghost Festival?

Folk traditions and Buddhism have already given Chinese culture its own day, or days, of the dead.

24 Oct 2019 - 9:11AM

Folk traditions and Buddhism have already given Chinese culture its own day, or days, of the dead.

Why has Hong Kong adopted Halloween when it already has the Hungry Ghost Festival?
Reflections | WeWork co-founder’s scandalous succession plan was commonplace in imperial China

Among the dubious practices Adam Neumann is accused of is giving vast powers to his wife in the event of his death, but for many widows of Chinese emperors, assuming control after their husbands’ had died was par for the course.

17 Oct 2019 - 1:45PM

Among the dubious practices Adam Neumann is accused of is giving vast powers to his wife in the event of his death, but for many widows of Chinese emperors, assuming control after their husbands’ had died was par for the course.

WeWork co-founder’s scandalous succession plan was commonplace in imperial China
Reflections | Malay and Malaysian: why Hongkongers need to learn the difference

With a rising number of Hongkongers inquiring about the Malaysia My Second Home scheme, the first step would be to get their facts straight about the multicultural country

10 Oct 2019 - 8:46AM

With a rising number of Hongkongers inquiring about the Malaysia My Second Home scheme, the first step would be to get their facts straight about the multicultural country

Malay and Malaysian: why Hongkongers need to learn the difference
Reflections | In decrying ‘foreign interference’, China should remember those times it has meddled in other countries’ affairs

A quick look back at history reminds us of those times the Chinese were not only aggressors but occupier.

3 Oct 2019 - 5:49AM

A quick look back at history reminds us of those times the Chinese were not only aggressors but occupier.

In decrying ‘foreign interference’, China should remember those times it has meddled in other countries’ affairs
Reflections | China’s embrace of electronic payments is the latest in a long history of smart money innovations

Paper money transactions began in the ninth century, with promissory notes carried by Chinese itinerant merchants.

26 Sep 2019 - 3:07PM

Paper money transactions began in the ninth century, with promissory notes carried by Chinese itinerant merchants.

China’s embrace of electronic payments is the latest in a long history of smart money innovations
Reflections | From social media to soft power, the benefits of cultural and intellectual exchange

More than a millennium ago, China and Japan understood the importance of learning from other cultures.

21 Sep 2019 - 3:43PM

More than a millennium ago, China and Japan understood the importance of learning from other cultures.

From social media to soft power, the benefits of cultural and intellectual exchange
Reflections | Why Hong Kong’s protesters do not want to ‘cut the reed mat’ – they believe they are stronger together

‘Cutting the reed mat’ comes from an ancient Chinese tale of two friends falling out. The phrase has been adopted by those in the anti-government camp, urging solidarity regardless of conscience.

13 Sep 2019 - 8:46AM

‘Cutting the reed mat’ comes from an ancient Chinese tale of two friends falling out. The phrase has been adopted by those in the anti-government camp, urging solidarity regardless of conscience.

Why Hong Kong’s protesters do not want to ‘cut the reed mat’ – they believe they are stronger together
Reflections | Singapore braces for rising sea levels, taking practical steps to prepare for climate change

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recently announced plans to protect the island nation against a projected one metre rise in sea levels. In ancient China, legend tells of how one man redirected floodwaters to become king.

10 Sep 2019 - 1:47PM

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recently announced plans to protect the island nation against a projected one metre rise in sea levels. In ancient China, legend tells of how one man redirected floodwaters to become king.

Singapore braces for rising sea levels, taking practical steps to prepare for climate change
Reflections | Hong Kong is suffering because public opinion is not being heard

In ancient China, popular songs were believed to be a useful gauge of public sentiments.

29 Aug 2019 - 7:44AM

In ancient China, popular songs were believed to be a useful gauge of public sentiments.

Hong Kong is suffering because public opinion is not being heard
Reflections | In times like these, it is important to choose friends, and enemies, wisely

Acts of violence have gripped Hong Kong in recent months, but neither side involved is willing to condemn their own. Historically, aligning with the enemy of one’s enemy does not always end well.

22 Aug 2019 - 6:40PM

Acts of violence have gripped Hong Kong in recent months, but neither side involved is willing to condemn their own. Historically, aligning with the enemy of one’s enemy does not always end well.

In times like these, it is important to choose friends, and enemies, wisely
Reflections | No good can come when a leader neglects their duty, whether in Hong Kong or imperial China

For almost 30 years during the Ming dynasty, the Chinese government was almost brought to a standstill by an absent emperor, whose misrule hastened the demise of the once prosperous era.

15 Aug 2019 - 11:55AM

For almost 30 years during the Ming dynasty, the Chinese government was almost brought to a standstill by an absent emperor, whose misrule hastened the demise of the once prosperous era.

No good can come when a leader neglects their duty, whether in Hong Kong or imperial China
Reflections | Vandalising the graves of enemies was once commonplace in China, today it shows extreme polarisation of Hong Kong

One of the most famous attacks on ancestral shrines in ancient China dates back to 506BC.

9 Aug 2019 - 10:52AM

One of the most famous attacks on ancestral shrines in ancient China dates back to 506BC.

Vandalising the graves of enemies was once commonplace in China, today it shows extreme polarisation of Hong Kong
Reflections | Disney has not ‘butchered’ Mulan – the Chinese tale of filial love has been subject to many interpretations

The story of the courageous female soldier, who fought so that her father wouldn’t have to, was first told in a poem, and has been subject to many interpretations since it was written during the Northern Wei dynasty.

1 Aug 2019 - 8:57AM

The story of the courageous female soldier, who fought so that her father wouldn’t have to, was first told in a poem, and has been subject to many interpretations since it was written during the Northern Wei dynasty.

Disney has not ‘butchered’ Mulan – the Chinese tale of filial love has been subject to many interpretations