Self-immolating Buddhist, Mousetopia in Chai Wan, MTR Ditches Staff for Cash
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Self-immolation at Buddhist Monastery
Three people connected to the Po Yin Fat Yuen Buddhist monastery in Tiu Keng Leng faced-off against more than 50 police officers over an eviction order last week. The head of the monastery, Lau Kin-kwok, stood on a pile of wooden crates on the roof of the building and set his gasoline-soaked, fabric-bound arm on fire. Firefighters doused him with water and rescued him, and he was taken to hospital with serious burns. The Sai Kung District Council notified Lau of the eviction in 2013, as the council planned to convert the building into a historical exhibit commemorating its past as the Rennie’s Mill Police Station. A notice to relocate was issued in February: before the lease expired in November, the monastery was paying $1 a year in rent. This will be the monastery’s second move: Its first was in 1996, from Tiu Keng Leng Tsuen to the current location of Po Lam Road South. Lau opposed that earlier move by throwing himself from a 10-foot-tall building into a crowd of police.
Our take: Lau the protesting monk squatter? There’s a TV series in this.
Chai Wan Market: Mousetopia?
An Oriental Daily investigation has revealed that Chai Wan Market in the Chai Wan Municipal Services Building has become very popular with rodents after closing time. A video shows mice climbing on stalls, while others eat what’s been left on the ground. According to FEHD statistics more than 240 rodents have been killed in the building from January to May this year, and stall operators have been reminded to keep areas clean. Pest control contractors have been sent to place cages in the area. Legco member and Eastern District Council chair Christopher Chung criticized the FEHD, saying that summer is rodent season and that bait and cages won’t fix the issue. He has called for better inspection and enforcement of hygiene ordinances.
Our take: Funny, it all seemed so much cuter in “Ratatouille”…
MTR Ditches Staff for Cash
Following the MTR fare increase announcement last Sunday, the corporation now wants to turn its headquarters in Kowloon Bay into a 46,000-square-foot shopping mall. The proposed retail space, which would link to the second phase of Telford Plaza, currently houses MTR’s HR and employee training departments, among others. It would add approximately $59 million per year in revenue. MTR employees have complained that training facilities will be moved farther away, inconveniencing staff. Telford Plaza is the second-highest earning shopping mall owned by the MTR, after Elements mall.
Our Take: As if Telford Plaza wasn’t convoluted enough already…