Cheap homes attracting Hong Kong eyes

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 8 Nov 2019

Imagine you could go back in time and invest in swanky apartments when they were super cheap.

Now maybe you can.

Adherents of Hong Kong's biggest religion, which is property investment, were excitedly speculating yesterday about Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's deal with mainland authorities.

It makes it easy for Hong Kong people to buy property in the Greater Bay Area before it is officially launched as Cantonesia (or whatever it will be called), a new land with an economy the size of Canada's.

Homes there are currently cheaper than car park spaces here.

One lady yesterday said she hopes to locate "the next Kowloon" and "buy the whole thing."

* * *

You know those irritating piles of tiny brown coins that each of us has? They add up to a fortune.

The people who run the government's Coin Carts (trucks containing machines that convert unloved piles of small change into usable money) revealed this week that they had processed HK$757 million in the past five years.

(And that was probably just from one of Li Ka-shing's trouser pockets.)

* * *

How do witches dress on Halloween? Anyone been to a coven? Do they dress up as children?

* * *

I passed a school in Tai Wai yesterday which had a mural of Adam and Eve on the wall - and both had their bodies decently covered by colorful t-shirts! I suppose it's appropriate for Hong Kong, a conservative society which became rich through garment-making.

* * *

Several people who rebutted anti-China tirades on Facebook found their accounts frozen. Donald Tam responded to a critic of China with a mild comment: "This guy is a troll ignore him." Donald was suspended for 30 days.

Others had similar experiences. "As far as Facebook is concerned, all hateful posts are okay if they are against China," said John Chow.

"Free speech is only for people with Sinophobia," Yang Chunyang said.

Sigh.

* * *

Boffins at the Cultural Centre tomorrow afternoon are going to use technology to recreate the sights and sounds of the "lost" ancestor of the MTR: the Kowloon-Canton Railway Station that used to be at Tsim Sha Tsui decades ago.

Despite the violence of Saturday afternoon's protests, there will be nothing to smash up at this "virtual" MTR station, thank goodness.

* * *

This columnist has led discussions on journalism every day this week as part of the international literary festival.

I find Hong Kong citizens and school children are better investigators than many journalists.

The Western media scorns the idea that "foreign powers" are providing cash to pro-democracy fighters in Hong Kong.

But citizens found records of US$22 million (HK$171.6 million) sent by the US government's National Endowment for Democracy to contacts in China, with some of the cash listed as going to pro-democracy fighters in Hong Kong.

* * *

The cash does explain the huge (or "YUUUGE" as Trump would say) number of flags and full-color "Trump Liberate Hong Kong" placards that appear at protests. But I note that the "Trump 2020" banner that was carried at Hong Kong protests in September seems to have disappeared. Maybe it was just too blatant?

* * *

A woman who bought a flat in Ho Man Tin last week refuses to go out: "It cost so much I feel obliged to stay in all the time to appreciate it."

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