Rude car plates are slipping past censors

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 1 Nov 2018

Cheeky motorists are slipping rude jokes past the eyes of the censors who control the personalized number plates that go on cars in Hong Kong.

"I've seen LBFM, WTF, LMF, MSM and YON1MAN on our streets," said Simon Clennell, chairman of the MG Car Club.

"The applicants managed to get them past the rather naive censors."

If you don't know what these rude messages stand for (there was one I didn't know) I suggest you ask your children.

Motoring fan Simon, who yesterday celebrated 30 years in Hong Kong, also noticed that drivers have registered car number plates which will raise the eyebrows of passing police officers.

One says "ONTHELAM", which is criminal term for "escaped from jail."

Another says "1M SOBER" which may tempt officers to check if its true. "FAST CAR", "1'M FAST" and "VROOM" are also likely to get police officers getting out their speed guns.

But at least one plate left Simon puzzled, he laughed yesterday.

"It says 'N0 M0NEY' but the driver somehow found HK$5,000 to pay for it!"

* * *

Hong Kong Immigration Department officials refused to accept an e-mail from this columnist and asked me to SEND THEM A FAX. "Okay," I said. "I think we have a fax machine in the storeroom next to the Neolithic stone axe and the Flintstones feet-powered car."

* * *

Malaysia will soon abolish the death penalty, I heard from a reader in that country.

Singapore, please note. The smuggest city in the world is being badly left behind on this point. At the moment, every non-resident flying into Singapore gets a disembarkation card which says "Welcome to Singapore" on one side and "WARNING DEATH TO DRUG TRAFFICKERS" on the other. Not a joke.

* * *

At least airlines flying into Singapore no longer make the old announcement on the plane: "We will shortly be landing at Changi Airport. If you have drugs, you will be executed."

* * *

Fantastic TV, a Hong Kong channel, has renamed itself Open TV in Chinese. This is reminiscent of openrice, the top restaurant review website in Hong Kong, but also makes good sense in the Chinese language, where you don't switch on the TV, you "open" it.

* * *

This columnist used to think the secretive Krug Room in the Mandarin Oriental was the most exclusive restaurant in Hong Kong, if not the world. It has only one table.

But yesterday I lunched with China's top explorer, Wong How-man. He has been hanging out in deep jungle in the Palawan area of the Philippines with members of a 300-strong hunter-gatherer tribe - and they gave him a single jar of wild honey.

Now that's exclusive. He's going to auction the jar of jungle honey at a charity ball on November 23.

What does it taste like?

I don't know. He wouldn't give me any.

* * *

News reports from Italy yesterday said human bones had been found beneath a building owned by the Vatican. In other news, I haven't see Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, around for a while.

* * *

I drove through Italy once, and found several roads that did not lead to Rome. Everything is a lie.

* * *

Tomorrow: There's something we need to decide about the proposed new island off the coast of Lantau.

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