Sorry, Singapore, Hong Kong's prettier

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 7 Mar 2019

It's official: Hong Kong rocks! In comparison, Singapore is a flat, boring place lacking natural beauty.

That was the conclusion of an audience of planners and geologists looking at data presented by Prof Chan Lung-sang at the Urban Land Institute conference in Hong Kong this week.

Hong Kong is 78 percent open land compared to just 47 percent for Singapore, Chan calculated.

Hong Kong's striking natural beauty comes from the way it ranges from sea level to 957 meters, compared to flattish Singapore's highest point of just 166 meters.

Hong Kong has so many natural beaches and waterfalls that it's hard to count them. Singapore has precisely zero of either.

Hong Kongers in the audience were grinning-but Singaporeans will surely fight back.

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And before Singaporeans start pointing to hysterical Western media reports that Hong Kong people have been practically oppressed out of existence by the government next door, I'll just point out that it's better to be oppressed by others than to oppress yourself.

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Hong Kong's street cameras are paying off. Two builders who dumped truckloads of construction waste on the roadside were fined by magistrates on Tuesday. There are eight more cases in the pipeline.

The future of police work: sitting and looking at screens day and night.

The good news is that we all seem to have been in training for this for years.

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On that note, a South Korean trend has spread to Hong Kong. It involves nerdy youngsters using the internet to broadcast themselves studying, hour after hour. Teens find it comforting to study in clusters-even if they are alone at their bedroom tables.

Takeaway from this item: There is nothing too boring to broadcast.

Except the Oscars.

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The cookie in this picture must be for the vast number of people who think they are gluten intolerant but aren't.

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A local publisher launched a magazine, Vogue Hong Kong, this week. Because everybody knows that print media is the future, right?

No, but seriously, a solid niche remains for print media, and there's even a bit of a backlash driving text sales up. When planes take off and everyone has to turn off their phones and laptops I always read my newspapers and books as loudly as I can, gasping and laughing like a maniac.

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A Hong Kong reader who likes to be known as Raging Bull had a question about the new rule (this column, yesterday) that forces Air India crew to say "Victory to India" all the time: "Why don't they just say, 'Kill Pakistan'?"

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Thomas Koetzsch yesterday booked a hotel room in Hong Kong. "The reservation officer was called Pepsi-Cola Wong." His friend Ulrich said: "What a strange family name."

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News broke in Australia yesterday that Hong Kong people had signed a deal to build coal-fired power plants in their country-and the Internet caught fire with activists vowing to stop us. Surely this should be blamed on the buyers (Australians) not the sellers (Hong Kongers)?

* * *

For everyone who cannot afford Hong Kong gym memberships, a quote from Benoit of Twitter: "A treadmill is just an expensive version of the ground."

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