A man noted for his acute sense of humour, Stevenson smoothed the succession from John Chan Cho Chak – the equally diminutive former boss of the region's largest mobile advertising platform, KMB – by quipping, "They are small shoes to fill, but if there's one man who's qualified to do so, it's Rita Fan. Sadly, Rita has set her heart on the territory's
Anyway, enough of this badinage. Here's Brian's response to the recent
'As an accountant at Ernst & Young with an LLM from Hong Kong U who has dedicated his life to transparency, corporate governance, sustainability and other long, Latinate words with, in some cases, minimal meaning, and, in others, absolutely no meaning at all, I have been as disappointed as you, Ullie, and, I am sure, all your readers at the latest revelations of membership fraud at the Club.
So far, five out of our 200 Voting Members have been charged by the Independent Commission Against Corruption with abusing their positions by asking potential members to shell out a million Hong Kong dollars for the privilege of sticking a blue and yellow badge on the grille of their S-series Mercedes with the Guangzhou plates and the blacked-out windows and of playing our world-renowned orientation game,
Now, as we all know, this figure represents merely the tip of the iceberg of Voting Members who are actually making a little extra on the side by signing a letter saying that they've known "Pock Marked" Eddie Tu for 20 years, that he's a thoroughly decent chap who played rugger for Glenalmond, pays minimum wage at his factories on the Mainland and performs his civic duties in a wholehearted and generous spirit by offering financial assistance to lady folk in Macau without respect to creed, colour, ethnic origin or position on the rung.
So what are we do to do about this wee problem, I hear you ask? Well, that’s where my young granddaughter comes in. She's been over here staying with us for the summer hols and she's obviously inherited those Stevenson genes – the ones that helped me get my LLM from HKU!
You see, I caught her reading the Jockey Club's Memorandum & Articles of Association, which contain lots of guff about all our different kinds of membership categories.
"Grandpapa," she suddenly piped up, "I like your club."
"Why's that, poppet?" I replied, thinking she was referring to those lovely statues of horses we stuck up around town when we hosted the Olympic equestrian events at Beas River. (Yes, unfortunately quite a few of the competitors never found the venue!)
"Well, at my school, if we don't like someone, we pretend they are part of our group, so they give us sweets and mobile phones and things, but actually they're not. We'd never let them in – they're so smelly and boring!"
"There, there," I gently chided my six-year-old, "we must do our best to show tolerance and respect for everybody, even people without lots of money."
"At your club, grandpapa, you've got more than 13,000 people you can take goodies from, but only 200 people are important."
"Well, my wee bairn, I think you're taking a very simplistic view of things – you need to take a more global perspective, consider a wide raft of aspects, including, but not limited to – "
"You and your eleven friends on the board choose the other 188 voting members. And when you retire, they choose you. THAT IS SO COOL!"
"Ah, but you see, it's a lot more complex than that. When you're older, and dare I say a little wiser, you'll see that things are not always so black and white, but, rather, various shades of grey."
But my granddaughter had already picked up her free trade Sri Lankan soft toy and was trotting from the room. As she went she was telling it,
"When I make you a member, Tsunami, only you and I will be able to vote at meetings, so we can run things just the way we want to."
I don't know what my daughter Morag is putting in my granddaughter's organic porridge with pine nuts and toasted mixed seeds, but that little girl has a lot to learn before she can be mentioned in the same breath as a woman like Rita Fan.'