How to spot not-so-old travel cheats

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 13 Jan 2021

Help! We've mislaid two million old folk. Octopus staff noticed that there were now 3.6 million discount Octopus cards for the elderly in circulation, but Hong Kong has only 1.32 million people aged 65 plus.

So that means there are 2.28 million missing old people - or that many younger ones who are pretending to be elderly.

How to spot cheats? Maybe we can make rules that users of senior Octopus cards must prove they are ancient by removing their teeth, singing some Cantonese opera, wearing adult diapers, forgetting what day it is, showing their Beijing politburo membership cards, etc.

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Raam Beart, a popular Hong Kong online voice, yesterday stumbled on a sad story on the Telegram website. An ex-protester called Tang called for HK$50,000 in donations after he lost his job. He'd been devoting his time to calling on the world to lay sanctions against the evil government. "I am now on a monthly disability welfare benefit of HK$5,000," Tang wrote. "From the government."

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Hong Kong banker Angelo Giuliano was one of many people who noticed the parallels between protests in this city and in Washington DC. "I propose the Capitol Hill protesters for the Noble Peace Prize," he quipped yesterday.

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A British singing star inspired the name of this egg supply depot from the Philippines, spotted by reader Anon Sysiaco.

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Hong Kong of the 1970s is the setting of the first episode of the hit BBC series The Serpent, telling the true story of serial killer Charles Sobhraj. When he was caught, he blamed his killings on Hongkongers.

We get blamed for everything - bird flu, SARS, Covid, and even the global death of Western liberal democracy.

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Some readers in Hong Kong are worried about the "single passport" proposal, as they don't want to give up their Australian or Canadian or British passports. No worries. The draft plans are non-retrospective, so nothing changes for you.

It's really designed ONLY for Hong Kong people who make a future decision to emigrate to places such as Plague Island, also known as the UK. Its main effect, our source says, would be to eventually prevent such folk from moving back.

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Now that it's 12 months since Covid emerged, Chris Kanthan looked for the LEAST accurate headline from last winter. It might be the one from Forbes magazine: "Coronavirus Could Be The End Of China As A Global Manufacturing Hub."

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A big investigation has started into the Falun Gong's role in the Washington DC riot. It's strange.

In 1999, China was like, "Beware of Falun Gong, it's a dangerous organization" and the US was all, "Nothing dangerous about them, you guys are totally paranoid."

This year? The US is like, "Beware of Falun Gong, it's a dangerous organization" and China is like, "We're not laughing heh-heh-heh-heh."

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Politicians in the US yesterday started drafting a new national security law which would classify marches or rallies by supporters of Donald Trump as "domestic terrorism activities."

The idea is to discourage violent protests or insurrection without removing freedom of speech.

Heard that before? Yep, it's a copy of Hong Kong's national security law.

But the US law could be much tougher, "enabling an authoritarian crackdown on dissent under the Biden presidency", said Jacob Levich, a New York academic.

Heard that one before, too.

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