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Saturday, 31 March 2012

ICAC Swoop to Arrest Penfold

Rafael Hui Si-yan, who apparently has a face that looks like a furry hamster, has been detained by the ICAC.

Rafael Hui with some furry friends (and behind bars)

Reference

ICAC arrests tycoon brothers (SCMP; paywall)
Sun Hung Kai bosses Thomas and Raymond Kwok detained with former chief secretary Rafael Hui in unprecedented probe into bribery and misconduct
Niall Fraser and Clifford Lo
Mar 30, 2012

The ICAC made the biggest arrests in its history yesterday when it detained two of Hong Kong's richest tycoons and the former top government official who masterminded Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's successful bid to become chief executive.

The arrests were made as part of an unprecedented investigation into allegations of bribery and misconduct in public office.

Former chief secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan, 64, was arrested at his home early yesterday.

Tycoon brothers Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong, 59, and Raymond Kwok Ping-luen, 58 - who control Hong Kong's biggest property developer Sun Hung Kai - were detained later in operations across the city carried out by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Anti-graft agents also raided the Kwok brothers' offices in the Sun Hung Kai Centre, seizing documents and computer material. All three men were still being questioned last night, but had not been charged.

The arrests come at a politically sensitive time, just four days after Leung Chun-ying became the city's new leader following a scandal-plagued election in which questionable ethics and the relationship between the government and big business were a major focus.

The slow-burning investigation into Sun Hung Kai and Hui has been under way for some time but could not be made public for legal reasons. Yesterday's arrests changed all that.

It is understood the probe was given fresh impetus in the wake of a bitter family feud which culminated in Thomas and Raymond Kwok's older brother, Walter Kwok Ping-sheung, leaving the company in 2008 claiming his siblings forced him out.

The South China Morning Post understands that the highly-complex probe centres on Hui's alleged relationship with Sun Hung Kai over several years both when he was in, and out, of government.

One key allegation centres on a luxury 4,000 sq-ft apartment Hui rented from the property giant in Leighton Hill, Happy Valley.

Several sources have also told the Post that ICAC investigators are looking into suspected debts of "more than HK$100 million'' linked to Hui, including allegations of an unsecured loan of HK$50 million in addition to alleged irregularities relating to land deals involving Sun Hung Kai.

A private sector source with a knowledge of the investigation said: "This is a truly a major investigation which leads deep and far.''

In a statement issued last night, Sun Hung Kai confirmed the Kwok brothers' arrest and said it would not affect the normal business and operations of the Group.

Trading in Sun Hung Kai's shares was halted yesterday and last night the company said they would request that trading restart today. Yesterday's arrests follow those of long-serving Sun Hung Kai executive director Thomas Chan Kui-yuen 10 days ago, and four other people in recent days, for their alleged connection to the same anti-corruption probe.

Chan and the four others were not charged and were released on bail.

Well-placed sources say Chan's arrest came out of information unearthed during the long-running probe into Hui and Sun Hung Kai.

Out-going chief executive Tsang - who is also being probed by the ICAC over his alleged connections to the city's tycoons - and the man who lost to Leung in the chief executive race, Henry Tang Ying-yen, are on leave and were not available for comment.

Fellow tycoon and Asia's richest man, Li Ka-shing, chairman of Cheung Kong Holdings, said of yesterday's events: "Sun Hung Kai is a competitor as well as a good friend of us. I do not know what happened with them but I hope they can remain all right in the end."

James Sung Lap-kung, a political observer at City University, said the investigation was a severe blow to the government's reputation.

"Coupled with what happened to Tsang, who is also under investigation by the ICAC for receiving hospitality from tycoons, the two most powerful people in the government [from 2005 to 2007] have been involved in corruption allegations.

"It's inevitable the public will cast doubt on the government's determination to remain clean," Sung said.

Friday, 30 March 2012

0992 HKSAR Name of the Day

Jackal Lui, restaurant manager, Yaegiku Japanese Cuisine, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
(Due to the Fukushima nuclear power plant concerns following the 2011 earthquake, this restaurant took the precaution of buying a HK$6,000 machine that monitors radiation to test its food imports)

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation; Nature-based; Self-important

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

0991 HKSAR Name of the Day

Polly Lam Po-yu, Hung Hom, Hong Kong (SCMP letters 23 March 2011)

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare; Phonetic-based

Monday, 26 March 2012

0990 HKSAR Name of the Day

Dexter Leung Yu-lung (Dr), assistant professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

[note: any link to Dexter's Laboratory!?]

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Saturday, 24 March 2012

0989 HKSAR Name of the Day

Salom Yiu Kam-shing, rugby player, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation


Updated
Pic from SCMP of Salom in tears following Hong Kong's quarter-final extra-time defeat by Japan at the 2012 HK Rugby Sevens (on Sunday 25 March)
(Clockwise from top) Yiu Kam-shing after the loss; HK players with Japan coach Wataru Murata; Rowan Varty is helped by a doctor; Tom McQueen defended superbly. Photos: Felix Wong, Nora Tam

Thursday, 22 March 2012

0988 HKSAR Name of the Day

Carman Ka Man Kwok, Lecturer II, Department of Physical Education, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong


About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare; Phonetic-based; somewhat common in Hong Kong

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

0987 HKSAR Name of the Day

Benson W.K. Wong, Assistant Professor, Department of Government and International Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

see also 0048, 0403 and 0985 HKSAR Names of the Day

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare; Son-suffix; Somewhat common in Hong Kong

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Morons, Oxymorons and Oxidative Stress

According to dietitian Leslie Chan Kwok-pan, of the Hong Kong Council of Early Childhood Education and Services, he reckons short attention spans, short- term memory loss and a difficulty in processing simple tasks are caused by the escalation of oxidative stress due to prolonged brain usage, which damages brain cells.

Er, sorry, what was that about prolonged brain usage? It causes brain damage! And this claim comes from a … dietitian.

The dietitian informs us that it is worrying to have short attention spans, short- term memory loss and a difficulty in processing simple tasks.

Apparently, as evidence for this claim, Chan introduced "Mathew" (full name not disclosed) who works 10-12 hours daily and has experienced these "troubling" symptoms. He gave an excellent oxymoron by saying:
"It never once crossed my mind that the long working hours had an effect on my brain's ability to function."

Don't you just love morons, oxymorons and oxidative stress!!!? ... and dietitians.


About Verbal Diarrhoea


Reference

Work stress takes health toll (The Standard)
Kenneth Foo
Thursday, March 15, 2012

Nearly two in every five workers are under extreme work pressure which can lead to brain damage.

According to the University of Hong Kong Public Opinion Programme, 38 percent of the 531 white-collar workers polled said they have faced enormous stress over the past month.

Nearly 25 percent said they had to work overtime at least five days a week and more than half said they were required to work past their regular working hours on an average of 3.6 days a week.

Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairman Pun Tin-chi said the surge in overtime is a sign that Hong Kong, as a community, has already accepted that long hours and constant pressure are the norm. But he said the union is pushing for new legislation to implement fixed working hours.

The average longest consecutive working hours totaled 13.5, with 23 percent reporting they had worked for longer than 16 hours.

Dietitian Leslie Chan Kwok-pan, of the Hong Kong Council of Early Childhood Education and Services, said there is a tangible link between overtime exertions and a weakening of brain functions.

Some 74 percent of respondents reported they had suffered short attention spans, short- term memory loss and a difficulty in processing simple tasks.

He attributed these symptoms to the escalation of oxidative stress due to prolonged brain usage, which damages brain cells.

Oxidative stress is involved in many diseases, including atherosclerosis, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Chan said that, as most workers find it nearly impossible to change their jobs, the next best alternatives are to ensure a nutritious diet and to take health supplements.

He recommended a regular intake of a "brain nutrient" called Carnosine, commonly found in essences of chicken and protein-rich food.

Matthew, an advertising accounts manager, puts in 10-12 hours every day, and has experienced instances in which he forgot the name of a long-time colleague or was unable to perform simple calculation tasks.

"But it never once crossed my mind that the long working hours had an effect on my brain's ability to function," he said.

0986 HKSAR Name of the Day

Johnson Yeung Chung Hang, Technician / Demonstrator, Department of Geography, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

see also 0486 and 0535 HKSAR Names of the Day

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare; Son-suffix; Somewhat common in Hong Kong

Friday, 16 March 2012

0985 HKSAR Name of the Day

Benson Choi Wai Kit, Technician / Demonstrator, Department of Geography, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
see also 0048 and 0403 HKSAR Names of the Day

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare; Son-suffix

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

0984 HKSAR Name of the Day

Jofy Sau Lin Pang, Lecturer I, Department of Physical Education, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Monday, 12 March 2012

0983 HKSAR Name of the Day

Day K.M. Wong (Ms), Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Saturday, 10 March 2012

0982 HKSAR Name of the Day

Elain Ka Yee Mak, Lecturer I, Department of Physical Education, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation; Deletion

Friday, 9 March 2012

Sino Smileometer: Henry Tang

When the Smiles Start Sagging …

Back when Henry Tang—who lives a life of privilege and is proud to boast that he was born in the Year of the Dragon—believed he was 'untouchable' knowing he was the favourite to become Hong Kong's next Chief Executive

When Henry Tang is not so cock sure

Pic from The Standard on 17 Feb 2012, when Henry Tang realizes that he might not necessarily get away with his 'indiscretions'

Why the 'long face' Henry?


Click the following to see genuine and sincere Chinese Smiles

Related Posts

Verbal Diarrhoea #13

Thursday, 8 March 2012

0981 HKSAR Name of the Day

Warman Wai Ming Cheng, Lecturer I, Department of Physical Education, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation; Phonetic-based?

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Doctor Doctor: Do As I Say Not As I Do

Local reporter Kenneth Foo's powers of observation enabled him to write:
Samartzis, being obese himself, said: "There is no better gift to give yourself than the gift of good health, so we hope our findings can add fuel to the fire for people to be more conscious of their weight."

Assistant Professor Dino Samartzis advises the public to be more aware of their weight

Apparently, Adrian Wan of SCMP did not notice (or chose to ignore) the fact that Samartzis is obese.


References

Study links obesity to lower back pain (The Standard)
Kenneth Foo
Monday, February 27, 2012

Overweight and obese adults are significantly more likely to suffer from back pain compared to those of normal weight, a study by the University of Hong Kong has shown.

Researchers studied nearly 2,600 people and found 73 percent have lumbar spine degeneration, a leading cause of lower back pain.

More significantly, those with a high body mass index are much more likely to get the disease and suffer from more advanced degeneration.

The condition was found to be more common in men than women and more prevalent among the elderly.

"Obesity results in diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, but what is bad for the heart is also bad for the back," said assistant professor Dino Samartzis of the university's Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine.

"We found that by taking preventive steps obese people can avoid the disease," he said.

The study's findings have been published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism.

The development of the disease typically leads to a lifetime of low back pain episodes, which can diminish the quality of life, decrease productivity, increase health-care costs, and even lead to psychological distress.

Magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess the adults, and it was that found 73 percent had degenerative discs while the rest did not.

It is common belief that disc degeneration occurs with aging. As a person ages, their spinal discs begin to wear down, leading to a tearing of the outer layers of the discs.

But researchers found that packing on the kilograms may also lead to this disease, and the greater the BMI figure, the more serious was the disc degeneration.

The research found that overweight people with a high BMI are 30 percent more likely to suffer from disc degeneration.

On the other hand, those who are obese have double the risk of being afflicted by the disease.

Being overweight or obese is like carrying a heavy haversack, which contributes to the process, because the discs are loaded with extra weight, clinical professor Kenneth Cheung Man-chee said.

A patient named Sean, 33, who weighs 108 kilograms, said he has to apply for sick leave 10 days a year because of his degenerative disc disease brought on by being overweight.

He has stopped playing basketball because of his lower back pain.

Robin Mellecker of the university's Institute of Human Performance said even a fairly small decrease in weight can give rise to significant health benefits.

Samartzis, being obese himself, said: "There is no better gift to give yourself than the gift of good health, so we hope our findings can add fuel to the fire for people to be more conscious of their weight."

Obesity can be a pain in the back, says study (SCMP; paywall)
Research shows that being overweight can double the risk of disc degeneration in later life
Adrian Wan
Feb 27, 2012

Obesity doubles the risk of disc degeneration in adulthood and could lead to a serious need for back surgery, a University of Hong Kong study has revealed.

The research found that more than two-thirds of adults aged at least 21 had disc degeneration, which can cause severe chronic pain. Some 36 per cent of them were overweight, 9 per cent were obese and about half were of normal weight.

Researchers at HKU's Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine studied the magnetic resonance imaging scans of a cross-section of about 2,600 people.

"Those who are overweight will have an increased likelihood of severe pain and the need for lower back surgery in late life," said Professor Kenneth Cheung Man-chee, of the university's orthopaedics and traumatology department, who carried out the study with Dr Dino Samartzis.

Disc degeneration disease was irreversible and could cause long-term suffering, Cheung said. This could include serious lower back pain, which might prevent patients from leading a normal work and social life.

The findings are based on data from the Hong Kong Degenerative Disc Disease Cohort, the largest study of its kind in the world.

Launched in 2001, it addresses disc degeneration and lower back pain by tracking the health of more than 3,500 southern Chinese volunteers aged 10 to 80.

The HKU study also found that the more overweight an adult was, the more serious the backache would be, compared with adults who were in the normal weight range. People who were obese had a 79 per cent increased risk of disc degeneration, while those who were overweight had a 30 per cent risk.

It has long been known that ageing, genetics and biomechanics - the structure and function of biological systems - are contributory causes of disc degeneration.

The findings were published in the latest issue of the medial journal Arthritis and Rheumatism. They are in line with a previous study by the same team that found a third of teenagers suffered from backache, and the condition was three times more likely if they were overweight.

The number of people overweight or obese in Hong Kong is rising. Department of Health data shows that in 2010, 39 per cent of adults aged 18 to 64 were overweight or obese.

Degeneration of the intervertebral discs - the joints of the spine - was on the increase in Hong Kong and the mainland, said Dr Robin Mellecker, a fellow at HKU's Institute of Human Performance.

"This is because populations are eating and sitting more," she said.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Verbal Diarrhoea #13

"It was a random draw. Three is a quite good number. The number plate of one of my cars is `3388'".
Claims a 'smiling' and beleaguered Henry Tang Ying-yen


Incidentally, Henry Tang was the government minister responsible for introducing Hong Kong's customized vanity car plate system, whereby 'boring' and unimaginative people with bags of money and no creativity simply buy up clever-sounding or numerically-pleasing vanity car plates.


About Verbal Diarrhoea


Related Posts (Verbal Diarrhoea) and (Vanity Plate)


Reference

Leung gets the luck of the draw (SCMP; paywall)
Coincidence sees candidates line up on the ballot paper in order of weekend forum popularity poll
Colleen Lee
Mar 05, 2012

The draw may have been random but the result was an accurate reflection of their popularity at a weekend forum on green issues.

When Mr Justice Jeremy Poon Shiu-chor, the returning officer for the March 25 chief executive race, pulled the names of the three contenders from one box and the slots on the ballot paper from another yesterday, each candidate's place coincided with their relative public opinion ranking among attendees at the Saturday forum.

Taking top spot on the ballot paper was former Executive Council convenor Leung Chun-ying, with pan-democratic candidate Albert Ho Chun-yan second and former chief secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen third.

Scandal-plagued Tang was quick to dismiss suggestions that the draw mirrored his popularity compared with his rivals.

"It was a random draw. Three is a quite good number. The number plate of one of my cars is `3388'," he smiled.

Leung refused to be drawn on the result.

Yesterday's draw, held at the Central Library in Causeway Bay, also determined where in the city each candidate could post his election advertisements.

Tang, once tipped as Beijing's favourite for the city's top job, secured just 2 per cent of the vote in a poll of 500 members of the public and green campaigners at the forum.

Leung, constantly leading in surveys since declaring his candidacy, took 63 per cent of the audience vote, followed by Ho with 23 per cent.

Tang argued that he was told all three of them performed similarly well at the forum.

That event marked the candidates' first public appearance together and was a chance for them all to respond to audience questions on key environmental areas.

Earlier in the day, National People's Congress Standing Committee member Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai said in Beijing that the election was no longer a "gentlemen's competition".

Tang declined to comment on Fan's remarks, saying only that he agreed with Ho and one-time hopeful Tsang Yok-sing that the race was full of scandals targeting candidates.

"It has seriously hampered the professionalism and credibility of the election. It has also led to a stronger call among the public for universal suffrage," he said. "The election should get back to the right track."

0980 HKSAR Name of the Day

Ricardo K. S. Mak, Head & Professor, Department of History, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Sunday, 4 March 2012

0979 HKSAR Name of the Day

Lobo Hung Tak Louie, Associate Professor, Department of Physical Education, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Friday, 2 March 2012

0978 HKSAR Name of the Day

Odalia M.H. Wong, Head & Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation; Substitution