The policy address should be an assessment of Hong Kong’s well being and the problems and opportunities it faces and how the government intends to tackle these issues over the next year. The difficulty for Chief Executive CY Leung is that an honest attempt at this opens a Pandora’s box. So rather than discuss issues which concern people such one country two systems, constitutional reform changes to MPF, universal pension and so on, he ignored them. Continue reading
Hong Kong approaches 2016 with most of the same issues that preoccupied it in 2015. There is a looming conjuncture of global and domestic circumstances that suggests 2016 is likely to be as gloomy and ill-tempered as last year, if not more so. Continue reading
Illegal parking in the urban areas is getting worse. The government engages in public hand-wringing over traffic congestion and illegal parking yet takes little serious action to combat it. The recent announcement that it intends to increase the amount of a fixed penalty ticket is unlikely to deter illegal parkers because, as many have pointed out, enforcement by the police and traffic wardens is weak. Continue reading
Tax consultant Deborah Annells was today sentenced in the District Court to four years jail for charges that included fraud, perverting the course of justice and possessing a false instrument. Annells sat impassively in the dock as Judge Eddie Yip Chor-man sentenced her to three and a half years for perverting the course of justice, 18 months for fraud of which six months were to be served consecutively, and twelve months for possessing a false instrument, to be served concurrently. Continue reading
By admitting China to the exclusive club of countries that make up its reserve basket of currencies, the IMF is breaching its requirement that currencies should be freely traded. One reason for this is that the IMF thinks its control of the global financial system is more assured with China at the top table rather than excluded from it. Continue reading
Tax consultant Deborah Annells had an “illustrious career” in Hong Kong according to her defence counsel, until her arrest. “The professional standing of the defendant is now obviously ruined,” Stephenson said today during mitigation in the District Court. Continue reading
Despite official coyness surrounding the HK$30.4 billion Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF) it now appears unlikely the projects will be completed before 2021. Suppliers of construction material say they have been told by their customers working on HKBCF projects that they are running up to five years late. Continue reading
Tobias Brown, Managing Director at UCL Asia and a former chairman of Noble Group has died. He fell from the balcony of his sixth floor residence in Bowen Road on October 17th at about 4pm.
HSBC executives may well be slapping themselves on the back for a job well done following the bank’s recent announcement of a 32 per cent increase in third quarter pre-tax profits to US$6.1 billion. Meanwhile the bank’s long-suffering retail banking customers have less to cheer about. Continue reading
It goes without saying that bureaucracy is alive and well within the Hong Kong government. But it is particularly egregious with respect to the process for getting approval for outside seating accommodation (OSA) for bars and restaurants.
You would have thought OSA was an easy win-win situation for the government. People like it and it’s good for businesses since it helps to boost turnover. Indeed it’s also good for the civil service too since it requires civil servants to administer the process. Continue reading