Trudeau is hoping for Hong Kong help

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 10 Apr 2019

Troubled Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau launched a secret weapon to better his chances to win re-election: Hongkongers.

He changed the law so that Canadian passport holders who live overseas can vote in local elections - and a big proportion of those live here.

Opposition supporters are furious. One wrote on Twitter: "The majority [of Hongkongers] have not stepped foot in Canada for a decade or even two. And what if the Chinese government tells them what to vote?"

Hey, lady, if Beijing asks Hongkongers to vote one way, they'll do the opposite.

* * *

The government in Beijing has found a brilliant way to cut the cost of brainwashing people - by making citizens brainwash themselves.

Students are forced to download a smartphone app called Study the Great Nation, I hear from a Hong Kong student studying in the mainland.

Teachers or work-unit bosses penalize them if they fail to monitor the app.

"The only people happy about it are computer science students," she said. "They can write software which will read propaganda on your phone while you do more enjoyable things, like going to the dentist to have your teeth ripped out without anesthetic."

This app makes China the only place in the world where parents say to their children: "Stop doing healthy active things and stare at your smartphone more."

* * *

Meanwhile, local parents take the opposite attitude. I know of one who advises people to take their children past seafood shops so they can engineer the following conversation:

"Daddy, why do the crabs have their claws tied shut?"

"Those are the crabs who are being punished for using their phones too much, sweetheart."

* * *

Top Filipina actress Kathryn Bernardo has arrived in Hong Kong to start work on Domestic Helper: The Movie (that may not be the eventual title).

The movie promises to "show everyone the life of domestic workers" in Hong Kong, she said.

"So it's about cooking, laundry and ironing?" asked a Filipina reader of this paper.

"Or sitting on flattened cardboard boxes in Central on Sundays?" asked another.

"Or sneaking down to the Neptune bar in Wan Chai to earn money?" said a third.

Whichever it is, I can't wait.

* * *

Reader Bill Bikales was shown this photo by a friend at Changsha airport, Hunan, a few days ago. It's nice that they have a special counter for people carrying human bits. Note to self: keep well away from your fellow passengers' carry-on bags, especially if they are dripping.

* * *

Researchers discovered that dogs with sticking-up ears are seen as scary, while hounds with floppy ears are perceived as cute.

The US Transport Security Administration is switching over entirely to floppy-eared dogs so that airports become calmer places, I heard from a pilot friend.

"I wonder if Hong Kong airport could do the same?" he asked. Hong Kong dog rescuer Sally Andersen could probably provide excellent candidates.

* * *

Marcel Heijnen is giving a talk at the Blue Lotus Gallery in Central tonight.

He produced a book of photos of cats in Hong Kong shops. It sounds mundane, but the book has great charm and sold like hotcakes. It has been reprinted five times so far.

Note to MBA students: the closest thing to a guarantee of success for any business project these days is: "Ideally, Should Involve Pictures Of Cats".

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