Murmurs of discontent over HSBC's new credit card We hear murmurings of discontent from users of HSBC's new credit card for businesses. Up until the beginning of last year these cards were all Visa. However, from the beginning of last year the bank began migrating its customers to a HSBC Business MasterCard. Some people have taken exception to the manner of this "migration". That is, receiving a new card, being billed for it, and being told to use it, by the bank. The idea of these cards is that they are "cash management solutions" for businesses, enabling them to manage their employee expenses simply and easily. But one of our readers points out that he uses a company car and therefore used his Visa business card to pay as he goes in and out of car parks. However, he finds that unlike his Visa card, a number of car parks in Hong Kong, particularly those operated by MTR Corp, won't accept MasterCard. Clearly, it's nothing like the annoyance that occurred with its UnionPay fiasco of 2013. HSBC says it would like to apologise for any inconvenience this latest wrinkle may have caused and has referred the matter to MasterCard and hopes the situation will be rectified. Incinerators and health Hong Kong's Environmental Protection Department might draw some comfort from a New York Times report headlined: "Garbage Incinerators Make Comeback, Kindling Both Garbage and Debate." The report recounts how West Palm Beach in Florida is about to start up the country's first commercial garbage incinerator in 20 years. The facility, costing US$670 million, is to burn 3,000 tonnes of waste a day, the same as Hong Kong's proposed incinerator. The decision to build an incinerator followed a ban on land filling and disappointing recycling rates of about 30 per cent. However, the Times cites environmental groups who, while conceding that newer incinerators are cleaner, say they still emit mercury, lead, dioxins and a variety of other toxic substances. Meanwhile, we have come across a web publication by a group called King's Lynn Without Incineration (KWLIN) that spells out the reasons why people are uneasy over health effects of modern incinerators. It notes that although Britain's Health Protection Agency says well managed incinerators don't have a significant effect on health, in 2009 it admitted it hadn't done any recent assessments. While some scientific studies conclude there are no significant impacts from modern incinerators, another showed that some of these studies were flawed, while yet others conclude they do cause ill health. Many agree further research is needed to determine if incineration affects health. Hong Kong Clear the Air group also has an article on its website by researchers at Greenpeace laboratories at Exeter University in Britain which paints a disturbing picture of what may be in store for people when the Shek Kwu Chau incinerator fires up. Singapore satire We've been told for some years now that "go go" Singapore is on the way up, leaving stodgy Hong Kong behind. We see that it now boasts its own online satirical magazine, newnation . In a recent piece it muses on whether security should be tightened in view of recent events in Paris. It quotes a fictitious reporter: "I doubt anybody wants to kill me. I have not exercised my freedom of speech in years. I spend my days rewriting press releases and attending government events and quoting civil service spokespeople." And another: "This lack of a free press … has helped save countless reporters' lives through a lack of free expression."