Monday, 30 April 2012

Wind Farms Not Eco-friendly Say Experts

                            It's all that hot air they generate

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Pennetier Pays Homage to Mozart

A near sell-out audience is a familiar sight at Hong Kong Sinfonietta concerts these days, since the decision was made to put no quota on the sale of student tickets (half-price). Indeed, a flyer in the programme informed concert-goers, while soliciting them for support, of course, that nearly half of tickets are sold to aspiring Yundi Lis and Vanessa Maes.

While we're on the theme of scantily-clad, pouting musicians using sex to sell themselves, things have clearly got out of hand when one gets every Tam, Park and Hari staring seductively into the camera lens from above their off the shoulder number. I'm sure that Yeol Eum Son, due in Hong Kong on 2 June, plays a mean keyboard, but oil painting the Korean ain't. She'd also save money on the electricity bill if she got the studio to turn the wind machine off.

All the best things in yesterday's concert at the City Hall took place in the first half, where we were treated first to a young, but out of nappies, Mozart's Serenata Notturna in D and then his Piano Concerto in D minor. It was a pity for me at any rate that, with the Sinfonietta starting a series of concerts in which they will play all of Johannes Brahms's symphonies, they should choose to start with the Third, in my book the least melodious and dullest of the lot. Or, as one nineteenth century critic put it, "Many music lovers may prefer the titanic force of the First, others the untroubled charm of the Second. But the Third strikes me as artistically the most perfect". Which may be translated as "better than it sounds", as another critic once said of Wagner.

It is unlikely that Mozart's "Nighttime" Serenade was played outdoors in his own day. Now, we are told, this is not so much because it would be easy for a strolling violinist to stumble into a rose bush or even because the double-bassist might baulk at having to hump around his instrument (they made special strap-on ones for marching about with), as because they hadn't yet come up with a portable set of timpani, and Mozart was damned if he were going to rescore his piece for snare drums and have the whole of Salzburg laugh at him.

The piece, a delight from beginning to end of its 15-minute length, featured some nice repartee between the solo second violin and the double bass and a jazzy solo from the afore-mentioned kettle drums, expertly wielded as always by Chau Chin Tung. And was that the theme from the third movement of Beethoven's Violin Concerto that I heard from Concertmaster James Cuddeford?

And so we come to the highlight of this programme, which 'though part of Le French May actually managed to contain by my reckoning no French music, if, as my more musical friend suggested, Pennetier's encore was an early work by Mozart - which places it somewhere between play school and primary school.

If one had never seen Jean-Claude play and saw him on stage, I think "French" might be your last guess as to his provenance.  Flamboyant he is not. He is to shameless showing-off what Lang Lang is to subtlety. Whether hunched over the keyboard, shuffling on and off the stage or taking a bow and breaking into his sole smile of the night, Pennetier appears blissfully unconcerned about ephemeral matters. It is clear that it is the music that matters to him.

I was worried for a moment during the long orchestral opening to the piece that he was going to nod off, but I think he was just checking that he hadn't put the buttons in the wrong hole of the hand-me-down Chinese-style shirt previously sported by Lynn Harrell and a host of other ageing Western visitors.

By the end of the beautifully lyrical slow movement, he had the audience - even the toddlers and the coughers - in the palm of his hand and had recharged his batteries sufficiently to launch into the Mannheim Rocket of the final movement.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Sex, Religion and Politics Still a Heady Mix

As we head into the holiday weekend in Hong Kong (yes, Saturday is still technically classed as a working day here, so if a public holiday falls on a Saturday we don't get a day off on the Monday), I thought a spot of navel-gazing was in order. This seemed even more appropriate given that the chap to celebrate whose birthday we're being given the day off (or not) must have spent many an hour gazing at his navel as he attempted to empty his mind of all earthly cares. Well, in his youth, anyway, before he became so Zen-like that his metabolism went from merely laid-back to catatonic and the fat started to accumulate.

Taking a look at the 20 most popular entry pages for this blog this month, I discovered an extraordinary thing: every single one of those posts related to one or more (or all – how exciting does it get?) of those three topics that one is not allowed to discuss in polite society – sex, politics and religion.

Coming in at number one is "CYLeung 99% Certain to be Next Chief Executive", followed closely by another Leung-related post, which I won't bother to name since they're all much the same really. At number three we have a sleeper hit, "Leon Panetta a Clone Secret Files Claim". Next we have "Susan Li, a Brief Snatch", which Foamier has clicked on 178 times – just how many boxes of Tempo does that constitute? – followed by "Good Golly!" (nice to see that anti-political correctness, or common sense as I like to call it, is still alive and kicking).

Looking further down the list, I see that at number 14 there is an entry that combines each of the three taboo topics: Sun Hung Kai's "Sixth Wonder of the World". Enough to bring loathed footballer turned beloved pundit Gary Neville to scorgasm:

Enough of this rubbish. Have a great weekend, wherever you may be. 

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Spanish Football Giants Pay Price for Unlevel Playing Field

On Tuesday night, I must have had a premonition that something extraordinary was about to happen. Waking just after 3am, I staggered to the sitting room and switched on the telly, fully expecting Barcelona already to be a goal up against Chelsea in their Champions League semi-final, as the team from Catalonia set about what most people thought would be the formality of overturning a surprise 1-0 reverse from the first leg.

20 minutes were on the clock and the score was 0-0. Within a few minutes, though, all that had changed as Barcelona scored two in quick succession. Ten minutes before the end of the first half, things got even worse for the Blues when their captain John Terry was sent off for placing his knee in the hamstring of Alexis Sanchez, the Chilean needing little encouragement to fall down and writhe around, thus drawing the attention of the linesman, who promptly told the referee, resulting in an early bath for the Neanderthal Terry, and more ignominy shortly before his appearance in court on racism charges.

I was about to call it a night and return to my snug when Chelsea breathed life into the tie with an excellent goal from their Brazilian Ramires, who exposed first the lack of speed of Carles Puyol – he of the Charles II barnet – and then the general inadequacy of goalkeeper Victor Valdez, who’d gone walkabouts in his penalty box, making the Brazilian’s task much easier.

2-2 on aggregate at half-time, which meant that if there was no further scoring Chelsea would progress to the final on the away goals rule. To no one’s surprise, there was another goal in the second period and it was slotted home by a Spaniard, one who’d scored a few at the Bernabeu in his career. Unfortunately for home fans – and a shock to even the most diehard Blue – it was scored by mega-flop Fernando Torres, who had laboured for 15 months under his £50 million price tag before starting to look like a footballer again in the last few weeks.

As usual, the Spanish press had a field day – the same press who branded English referee Howard Webb a “robber” because he had the audacity to get three crucial decisions absolutely spot-on in Spain’s 2010 World Cup opener against Switzerland, which the hosts lost 1-0. Words such as “unjust” and “unmerited” poured forth from the scribes, but perhaps, just perhaps, they will allow themselves the luxury of some reflection after last night Spain’s other hope, Real Madrid, was dumped out of the European Cup, this time by Bayern Munich.

One of the roots of the problem lies in the truly “unjust” – to borrow one of the Spaniards’ favourite words – financial structure that exists in the Spanish game. As opposed to the world’s most lucrative league, the English Premier League, where a deal is done between the clubs en bloc and the various television networks, in Spain, the clubs are free to negotiate on their own. Thus, Barcelona and Madrid, already guaranteed huge income through ticket sales and sponsorship deals, take between them the lion’s share of the television money too, leaving little for the likes of former powerhouses Valencia, Seville, Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao, and almost nothing for the also-rans (Malaga, Almeria, Sporting Gijon, Racing Santander, Valladolid, Getafe, CeltaVigo, Deportivo La Coruna, etc. etc.).

While this guarantees that Madrid and Barcelona will always finish one-two, or two-one, in La Liga, crushing one of the above teams 8-0 every other week hardly prepares them for sides which are well drilled, determined and devoid of any inferiority complex.

So, for the good of Spanish football, perhaps the powers-that-be can get together and sort out a financial structure that is less “unjust”. The chances of that, you ask? About the same, I would say, as Spain ceasing to point the finger at foreigners for meddling intheir Civil War, in which half a million people died, the vast majority Spaniard killed by Spaniard.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

A Peek at SHKP's Peak House in Mei Lam, Shatin

At the weekend, after an exhausting couple of hours of badminton at the Mei Lam Estate Sports Centre (free parking for players, by the way), I took the chance to walk the short distance beneath the thundering elevated highway that is the Shing Mun Tunnel Road (AKA Route 9) to another development that is being heavily promoted by Sun Hung Kai Properties, the rather inaptly named Peak House.

Unlike its downmarket high-rise cousin across the way, Peak One, Peak House consists of just 13 three-storey houses. Most of the units get a heated swimming pool thrown in, and there’s even a rooftop garden.

From that vantage point, residents will be able to enjoy panoramic vistas of not just the local elevated road system, Shatin’s own “spaghetti junction”, but also the very public housing estate, resplendent in jungle green, where they can go and play badminton.

If they get their binoculars out, and the wind is not blowing particulates down from the north, they may even be able to see Lion Rock.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Politico’s Mistress Explains Why She Exposed Deputy PM

                It was the only way I could make money from sex

Monday, 23 April 2012

Caring Cant

They say charity begins at home, but obviously no one ever told the warring Brothers Kwok. The latest edition of their SHKP Quarterly contains the compulsory nauseatingly preachy and hypocritical segment, this time entitled “SHKP Club promotes family love online”.   

The purpose of this club, comprising prospective buyers of Sun Hung Kai’s overpriced boxes on smog-bound aits as well as in the glorious motherland (one membership privilege is the chance to be badgered by desperate sales types in between their smoking breaks at a show flat for Lake Dragon – the group’s latest boxed set in Guangzhou), is set out above photos of affluent middle-class types being lectured on morality by a SHKP executive, after they found one that hadn’t yet been dismissed or banged up.

“The SHKP Club builds long-term relationships with members and promotes caring families and harmony society (sic) in many ways. The Club’s Loving Home campaign last year included a Cherish Your Family Facebook page …blah blah.”

Meanwhile, over at that bastion of ethics and morality, the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Saturday’s race card bore all the marks of having been put together by someone who’d just been released from Castle Peak Hospital after having been forced to make “1,000 Knots of Love symbolizing harmony and unity to promote appreciation and tolerance among families and care for society” at the SHKP Club’s latest handicraft workshop.       

The day kicked off with the “Caring for the Elderly Handicap”, followed tout de suite by the “Positive Ageing Handicap” and the “Nurturing the Young Handicap”. The loving family members who chose to spend their weekend at the race-track at Shatin in order to buy another bed for a Jockey Club Positive Ageing Clinic were also treated to the “Passing on the Legacy Handicap” and the “Promoting an Inclusive Society Handicap”, although a number of punters could be seen shaking their heads in horror and checking their online grammars when they were asked to shell out their hard-earned on the “Promoting Healthy Society Handicap”, which went article-less for reasons unknown

I must admit to not altogether getting into the spirit of the day, as I was trying to think up an appropriate name for a race in honour of the disabled. The “Employ the Handicapped They’re Dirt Cheap Handicap” or the “Lend a Helping Hand to the Handicapped Kickstart Their Wheelchair Handicap” were the best I could some up with.    

The programme culminated in Race 8, the Kwok-sponsored “Family Harmony Handicap” (sadly a fight broke out as to which brother would get to present the cup), before at the fag end of the day, the people responsible for coming up with the names finally threw in the towel, hoping no one would notice that they’d done a copy and paste job on the final two races, following the “Dedication to the Community Handicap” up by the “Partnering for the Community Handicap”.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Sun Hung Kai's Sixth Wonder of the World

Anyone in need of a bit of a pick-me-up could do worse than take a butcher’s at Sun Hung Kai’s corporate non-glossy (it’s printed on that expensive and smelly environment-friendly paper) magazine SHKP Quarterly, which landed on my desk with a thud and a whiff this morning.

The reader will be energised by a spread featuring the Brothers Kwok’s latest development on the island of Ma Wan, which lies in the silty waters between Lantau Island and the Tuen Mun Road in the shadows of the Tsing Ma Bridge.

Not according to the recent press release issued by the company it doesn’t, ’though. According to the spiel, the development, called AnaCapri, is “surrounded by a boundless view of the ocean”, which is a rather far-fetched way of describing the Ma Wan Channel, especially for those of us who have been brought up to believe that an ocean is, as the Oxford Dictionary puts it, a very large expanse of sea”.

Now the original Anacapri is a commune rising high (that’s what the ‘ana’ bit means) on Capri, the island off Naples in the Tyrrhenian Sea, which is a lot bigger than the Ma Wan Channel but doesn’t have a Mr Victor Lui, Executive Director of SHK Real Estate Agency, to big it up.

Victor obviously thinks very highly of the development – that, or he hasn’t been on a site visit – as he gushes, “AnaCapri is situated at a premium location on the peninsula, facing the Tsing Ma Bridge, Ting Kau Bridge and the magnificent views of the Anglers’ Beach in Sham Tseng, which highlight the indescribable grandiosity of the supreme residential project.”

On the other hand, maybe he’s just been on the wacky backy,as you’ll have to do some serious neck-craning or climb onto the roof to catch a glimpse of the Ting Kau Bridge, which is far enough away, anyway, to be shrouded in pollution on rainless days when Guangdong’s gunge is being blown down the Pearl River Estuary.

Not that you have to climb as many floors as in most Hong Kong apartment blocks to get to that roof. Rather bizarrely, as well as there being no 4th floor – common in these parts, as the Cantonese for 4 sounds like death – there is also no 7th floor. Now, this got me really intrigued, as I’ve been 25 years in Hong Kong and have never come across a missing 7. For goodness’ sake, one of the most popular convenience stores around here is even called 7-Eleven. Just as well it’s not owned by Kwok Bros, or it’ll be renamed simply 11. 

Anyway, so intrigued was I that I asked my secretary to call the AnaCapri hotline and ask them about the missing seven. She was told that in Western culture, the number 7 is unlucky. Why, I thought, didn’t anyone tell those Jews to leave just six branches on their menorot or knock down one of the pillars on their house of wisdom, or the Pythagoreans to come up with another mystic number?

My secretary’s explanation, pithy ’though it was, was, I thought, rather more apposite: “Mainlanders don’t like 7, as the seventh month of the Chinese calendar is called Ghost Month”.

Ah, well, now we know. A sign of things to come, perhaps, as our cousins from across the border continue to bring their LV suitcases stashed full of dosh into the territory in their relentless drive to push property prices to new heights?

But I leave the best till last. Our friends at Sun Hung Kai have a poet in their midst. Unfortunately, they didn’t call upon his services when they stuck the following drivel on their website:

“Streets, hustle and bustle, after streets
In the metropolitan city, lies none of the quiet suites
Not until I found AnaCapri
The indulging place, away from the concrete
There, my life is fulfilled, with the abiding peace …”

Residents who can’t take any more of this needn’t worry; relief is just around the corner in the shape of Noah’s Ark in all its Young Earth glory. But the last laugh may well lie with the punters. In the same way that that glorious wheeled incarnation of the 1970s was quickly dubbed the Ford Crappy, Victor may soon find his jewel in the ocean known as AnaCrappy. 

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Merci Monsieur Urius

If your office is undergoing renovation work, as mine is,or you're just looking for a site that offers full-length performances of musical classics from the golden age of conducting (old stuff, in other words), then Jacques Urius is your man.

Not literally, as this little known French tenor died in 1935, but a very active YouTube uploader has assumed  his hero's name for his own moniker and is uploading old recordings by the likes of Sviatoslav Richter and Yehudi Menuhin as if they were going out of fashion. Which they don't.

Among the featured conductors are Guido Cantelli, Otto Klemeper and Leonard Bernstein.

To get you in the mood, here is a vocal arrangement of Johannes Brahms's Op.39, No.15, "La valse des regrets", sung by Georges Guetary.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

It Just Won't Fugging Do

A hundred residents of an Austrian village which delights in the name of Fucking are going to the polls to decide whether a name change is in order.

Meanwhile, the residents of Dildo, Newfoundland, are in talks to enter into a twin-town arrangement during the quiet winter months.  

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

If you are at a loose end at 7.30pm on Thursday 3 May and are in the vicinity of the Methodist International Church on the junction of Queen’s Road East and Kennedy Road in Wan Chai, then why not shell out HK$150 of your hard-earned on the Cecilian Singers’ spring concert?

This will be an all-English programme (well, they’re letting a Welshman in – Ralph Vaughan Williams), with not a scintilla of Latin about, apart from the odd title or two – there’s Herbert Howells’s Magnificat and Stanford’s magnificent Te Deum. (Okay, Stanford was another Celt.)

Come and join us on this musical tour that starts in the time of Henry VIII with Thomas Tallis, journeys into the Elizabethan era with the madrigals and motets of William Byrd and Thomas Morley (including the chart-toppers “Now is the Month of Maying” and April is in my Mistress Face”) and ends in the new Elizabethan age with Howells’s “Hymn to Saint Cecilia” – appropriately enough.   

To get you into the mood, here’s Vaughan Williams’s arrangement of the old Dorsetshire folk song “Linden Lea”:

The ridiculous, you ask? Well, for that, you need look no further than Britain’s Got Talent – in itself, an assertion which is open to debate, having watched the first four episodes. One of the stand-outs thus far, ’though, has undoubtedly been a rotund middle-aged black gentleman who underwent the misfortune of mislaying his keys and his mobile phone, and decided to write a song (using the word loosely) to both memorialise his loss and offer consolation to anyone who’s ever been in the same boat.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Hooker Spot on in Bo Xilai Case

He might have been living and writing more than 400 years ago, but Richard Hooker knew a thing or two about lifestyles of the rich and famous, and the trouble to which they invariably tend: 
'The impious cannot enjoy that they have, partly because they receive it not as at God's hands, which only consideration maketh temporal blessings comfortable, and partly because through error, placing it above things of far more price and worth, they turn that to poison which might be food, they make their prosperity their own snare; in the nest of their highest growth they lay foolishly those eggs out of which their woful overthrow is afterwards hatched.' (Hooker, Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, Volume II, 415-416)
The worrying thing about the Chongqing case is that there are hundreds and thousands of little Chongqings across the "People's" Republic of China, and it would be a bold, or a foolish, person who thought that the same sort of massive scale corruption wasn't going on in all these places.
The country is rotten through and through, and those unable to stick their head in the trough are bound to create ructions sooner or later.    

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo Makes Commentator Come

"This one deludes everybody."

No, only you, you Geordie twat. (I think you mean "eludes" by the way – the only "delusion" going on around here is you thinking you're the Byron of the twenty-first century.)

"This has got more curves to it than Jessica rabbit on steroids."

Wrong again, you brainless nerk. The ball scarcely deviates an inch and only goes in because the wall crumbles and the Atletico goalkeeper's naff.

Ray Hudson, you were a journeyman footballer and you are a sorry apology for a broadcaster. You are not worthy to be the bitch of legendary Tynesider Sid Waddell, who proved that you don't need to resort to smut when you can craft lines like, "There's only one word for that – magic darts!"  

Friday, 13 April 2012

China’s Golden Couple Explain How it All Went Wrong

  Hi! I’m Xi-lai, and this is my wife – she lie pretty good too

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Oh My God! It is Really Intentional

Out of the mouths of babes and Filipino ... well, babes, I suppose.

Moral of the story: if you've played a team and lost 16-0, take it like men and try to lose 15-0 next time. Don't kick players in the head.

This disgraceful and pusillanimous culmination of a series of assaults, which was picked up by the Daily Telegraph and broadcast to the world, has probably done more to persuade the Government to rethink its ESF subsidy than any number of loopy letters to the SCMP from Pierce Lam and friends.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Wilson Car Parks Pursue Anti-Elitist Agenda

That Aussie show-off’s started something. A Wilson car park I visited yesterday was displaying this sign on its Octopus reader at the entrance.

Nice to know of a place that welcomes only Triad vans and Alphards – vehicles driven by those with IQs guaranteed to deny them access to the LSE, let alone Oxford and Cambridge.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Norway Conflicted Over Killer

                    Schizophrenic shrinks make me mad

Aussie Protester Makes Emotional Appeal

PLEASE, guys, my book will be nothing without an Old Bailey trial and a jail term 

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Man Who Stopped Boat Race Explains Why

                                       I'm Australian

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Invest in Hong Kong, Sex Toy Capital of Asia

I got an email from an old friend who's been wading through essays written by prospective interns on what makes Hong Kong an attractive investment option. He was both thrilled and a little disturbed to be distracted from the usual guff about CEPA, offshore renminbi centre, hard-working population, low profit tax rate, "shopping paradise", etc. by some startling revelations let slip by three of the candidates.

One budding accountant wrote of his hometown as a "lovely and vibrating city", a theme that was elaborated on by another, who described Hong Kong as a city of opportunities, nay, "one of the world's hard cores". Of course, all this electrical fun doesn't come without risks, as another candidate reminded us rather in the manner of a kinky Emily Lau Wai Hing: "As everyone knows, the shock market has to work non-stop."

Meanwhile, we paid a visit this morning to the yum cha place next to the Sha Tin library, which was preparing for this evening's big event, the nuptials of Suet and Richard. I couldn't help wondering whether, with time, the groom would become a Spotty Dick

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

SHKP Update

According to that fountain of all knowledge not possessed by Oriental Daily News, Next Magazine, the two younger Kwok brothers in their ask-no-questions media session yesterday were sending out at least two coded messages in the most bizarre part of their statement, that in which they praised their staff and insisted that SHKP does not rely on the Brothers Kwok.

The surface interpretation is straightforward: we may be going to jail for some time, but don't let that affect the share price. The other, deeper, interpretation is far more interesting: our scumbag brother, Wally - whatever our octogenerian mother may be trying to do behind the scenes in terms of bringing him back on B/board - will assume once again an Executive role in our Company only over our dead bodies.

As we said, SHKP does not rely on the Brothers Kwok. All three of them - but especially that one!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Wu Fung Set to Wow Coliseum

I now admit I was wrong about the legend that is Wu Fung, who celebrated his 80th birthday in January and is giving a concert at the Hong Kong Coliseum this very evening to welcome in the Ching Ming Festival.  

I said he was the world’s greatest overactor, one who has been so influential in his field for so long that, life imitating art, police officers, politicians and protesters the length and breadth of Hong Kong are in his debt every time they burst into tears or take a dive at the merest hint of human contact.    

But Bowie, as he styles himself for his adoring non-Canto fans, is in truth no overactor for the simple reason that he is no actor at all. A former English teacher of mine, who went on to achieve great things as Head of Manchester Grammar and St. Paul’s (school not cathedral), could have been watching one of Wu’s 300 films when he said, "He’s not acting – he’s merely extending his personality".

But, on this day of all days, let’s not be pedantic; let’s salute the man who can count among his disciples such budding thespians as Donald Tsang, Henry Tang and his much put-upon wife, little Lisa Kuo, not to mention most of the Senior Counsels that grace our courts – and not a few of our judges, to boot. At just HK$180 a throw, no one can say that tickets for what is billed as a "music and dance" extravaganza are incommensurate with the talent on offer. I hope to see many of you in Hung Hom supporting Hong Kong’s national treasure, our very own Queen Mum.  

Monday, 2 April 2012

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Brother Scorned – Part The Second

While normally it might be expected that CY Leung would wish to be seen as a kind of knight in shining armour entering the lists to extirpate evil from his parish, there are several compelling reasons why he would not wish to be the one responsible for the current cleansing of the kingdom.

First, Rafael Hui, besides being mates with Sir Donald, is also good mates with CY Leung’s defeated rival, Henry Tang Ying Yen – indeed, he was one of the "masterminds" behind the benighted one’s bid for power. Second, the two arrested Kwoks, Thomas and Raymond, were both staunch Tang supporters in the recent chief executive election campaign. Third, the third, and not (yet?) arrested Kwok brother, Walter, was a staunch supporter of Leung.

With no desire to see his enthronement in July besmirched by accusations of score-settling, Leung (allegedly) told Tiny in no uncertain terms to get that whistle out of his pocket and give it a good blow.  

I’m beginning to warm to this fellow …   

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Brother Scorned

According to that fountain of all knowledge, the Oriental Daily News, Walter  Kwok has been busy furnishing whoever would listen with details of his younger brothers' - not forgetting their friend and adviser Rafael Hui's - dealings, and deals, in the New Territories.  

Wally, who has been waiting for four years to take revenge on his siblings, had been forced to play a waiting game, it is said, by none other than our leader, Sir Donald Tsang, who dillied and dallied over his requests to shop his brothers to the ICAC.

Just why Sir Don would want to prevaricate, we of course cannot be sure. Okay, Rafa is a great mate and actually ran his campaign for "election" as chief nitwit in 2005, and the Kwoks are rich and powerful, and religious in that very Chinese way which combines being very preachy, very Whitened Sepulchresque and very rich.  

Anyway, according to the Ma organ, AKA ODN, along comes CY Leung the day after his "election" as Don's successor and says, "Hey, Mini, what are you going to do about all the skulduggery that's being going on in the NT? (allegedly)"

Mini replies, "Well, we need to further monitor the situation and carry out a thorough investi --"

"Shut it, birdbrain!" responds CY, "this ain't going to be happening on my watch. We've got enough evidence from Wally to send them away for years. Pick up that phone to the ICAC. Surely, you don't want to further tarnish your legacy with more accusations of favouritism and cronyism?"

And thus the whistle was finally blown and the wheels of justice set in motion. Wally's Mum may no longer be speaking to him, but I somehow don't think that going to be bothering him too much. And as for Rafa, as the prime mover (allegedly) behind Wally's supplanting as chairman of Sun Hung Kai Properties, one can hardly imagine the oldest sibling shedding too many tears for the silly old fart.