No City for Slow Men by Jason Ng Blacksmith Books Guy Haydon Hong Kong lawyer and blogger Jason Y. Ng is back with a new book of insights after casting his perceptive gaze over the good, bad and ugly side of city life. After 2010's Hong Kong State of Mind , Ng says that in those three years the city has had a new chief executive and seen property prices nearly double. "Poverty, a housing shortage and racial disharmony have polarised … society. Distrust of government and big business has surged to new highs. Tensions between Hong Kong and mainland China are boiling over." He offers 36 nicely judged, pithy - often punchy - essays to "inform and empower" readers in three areas: "Our Way of Life", "Our Culture" and "Our Identity". Ng's unpretentious writing reveals a frank, cut-to-the-chase view of life - plus, on occasion, a commendably sympathetic nature. He takes aim at government and developers: in "Those Who Live in Glass Houses", he targets Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who discredited Henry Tang Ying-yen by focusing on illegal construction at his rival candidate's home, yet had to remove an illegal storeroom and glass enclosure at his own home. "Those who literally live in glass houses … lack the moral authority to make us follow rules that they themselves have broken." Ng rails at our sky-high property prices and developers, who hold such sway over policymakers while running retail chains, utilities, public transport and phone services. "Hong Kong is ranked the freest economy in the world year after year. But free for whom? Whoever conducts these studies should walk a mile in our shoes and see how deep the property tycoons' hands are in our pockets." He touches wittily on "Pet Peeves": the chronic over-use of air conditioning; people's nail clipping on public transport; and Hongkongers' passion for "weird" Japanese, Italian or French first names, rather than English ones. "I'm sorry, but Giuseppe Chan just sounds ridiculous." His solution is simple: "I instinctively reach into my bag, searching for the hand grenade I don't have, but wish I had." Ng also scolds Hongkongers over their frenetic pace of life. "Success should be measured in bike rides and sunsets, instead of tick marks and dollar signs." The book features evocative drawings by his illustrator father, Lee-po, who crops up with Ng's mother and brother in the chapter looking at the problems of being poor and old. "Ageing itself is not scary; what is scary is how unwilling our city is to lend a hand," Ng says. His condemnation is most moving in "Maid in Hong Kong", of the prejudice, selfishness and "wilful blindness" of local people and their treatment of domestic workers. "These quasi citizens … hold up a mirror to our city and reveal our parsimony and ingratitude to those who've made an immeasurable contribution to our prosperity … I want to say I am sorry."