HK Magazine Archive

Hong Kong's Next Chief Executive? How to Decode Jasper Tsang's Riddle

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 July, 2016, 12:07pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 5:16pm

In a recent newspaper column Legco President Jasper Tsang set Hongkongers an incredibly complex math riddle, explaining that if you were able to solve it, you would be able to decipher the identity of Hong Kong’s next Chief Executive. We’ve been inspired by his example to come up with our very own riddles…

1. Hong Kong and mainland authorities have agreed to notify each other within 14 days if they detain the other’s residents for criminal investigation. If you are abducted at 2am on Wednesday, what is the latest that your family will discover that you have been taken from your home and smuggled across the border? Assume normal working hours.

2. It is the July 1 protest march. Organizers say that 110,000 people attended, while police say that 19,300 protested. On the same day, pro-Beijing group the Silent Majority for Hong Kong assembled over 5,000 people to take part in an attempt to beat the world record for “longest human chain in the world,” while also singing patriotic slogans. Answer the following:

  • a) Assuming that both police and organizers are both incorrect, what is the likely real number?
  • b) Given that every year the police and organizer numbers differ by a large degree, what is the state of the arithmetics education system in Hong Kong?
  • c) Why would a lame human chain distract from the July 1 march?

3. Hong Kong property sales have fallen 40 percent in the past six months compared to the same period last year. If you make $20,000 per month, calculate how much illegal activity you will have to engage in if you wish to afford a flat worth $1.5 million by the time you turn 45. Send a copy of your working to the ICAC.

4. A ticket on the train from Hong Kong to Guangzhou costs $210 and takes two hours. The new Express Rail Link (XRL) is costing $84.42 billion to build but will cut the journey to 48 minutes when it opens in Q3 2018. Calculate the following:

  • a) What is the actual cost of each minute you save by taking the XRL?
  • b) How many regular train tickets could you buy for the $84.42 billion budget of the XRL?
  • c) With the additional time saved on the journey, is there actually anything worth doing in Guangzhou?