Here's a shock: low rents in Hong Kong

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 11 Dec 2019

Many of the renters in the latest block of government housing will pay less than HK$2,500 a month for a whole apartment, including management fees, rates and maintenance, a housing spokesman revealed yesterday.

Wow! That's cheaper than a single bed at the human rabbit warren called Chung King Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui.

For a starker comparison, a small patch of bare concrete on which to leave your car at Star Ferry car park costs HK$5,900 a month.

I know what some readers are thinking but, no, you cannot rent a housing authority flat to park your spare Lamborghini.

* * *

On Monday, the Liberal Party handed an economy rescue plan to the government that would simultaneously slash everyone's taxes and give every resident HK$10,000 of taxpayers' cash.

Hmm, I see a logical disconnect there: it's like telling people to give away their car and then invite everyone for a drive.

* * *

Last month, I was thrilled with the generosity of the government when each of my three children got a HK$4,000 handout of taxpayer cash.

Then I realized it was my own money.

"Hey, I'm the taxpayer, that's my cash," I said.

They ran and hid, clutching their envelopes.

* * *

A Lamma-ite told me yesterday why they were happy for their main Facebook web forum [called Lamma Residents and Ex-Residents] to be executive-led.

A year ago, a breakaway group wanting more direct democratic power set up a web forum called Lamma Uncensored.

But infighting broke out and some members were blocked from Lamma Uncensored, so returned grumbling to the original community.

"Am I missing something? Does uncensored mean censored now?" quipped resident Pete Gable at the time.

Selina Cheng commented: "Sometimes Lamma groups are really like high school Mean Girls. That's what makes them so entertaining."

I wonder if there's a lesson for Hong Kong there?

* * *

Reader Gerry Em spotted a clothes shop called Yue Fat, which definitely sounds worse in English than in Chinese. There used to be a Yue Fat restaurant in Sai Wan Ho, but it closed down. Maybe the name psychologically repelled English-speakers?

* * *

Got an old van? The government said this week that owners of old diesel vehicles will be paid to scrap them and upgrade to less polluting vehicles between now and June. You get HK$87,000 for a van and HK$892,000 for a double-decker bus.

Thanks for the info. Just the sort of thing most of us have lying around.

* * *

Glorious leader Carrie Lam ended her speech at a Wan Chai business conference yesterday by saying: "I wish you a merry Christmas - a peaceful one - and a happy new year."

With two friends who work at Starbucks in mind, I do hope the radicals remember the whole "peace and goodwill to all mankind" thing.

* * *

Commerce secretary Edward Yau continues to be champion of mixed metaphors. This week he said: "We are hit by double storms [but] I hope that we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel" so Hong Kong can "lay out a level playing field" and "soldier on and we will bounce back."

He reminds me of football manager Andy King who once said: "The Achilles' heel which has bitten us in the backside all year has stood out like a sore thumb."

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