I have no cause but to be a pin beneath the saddle of those who ride roughshod over ordinary people.

February 12th

You wouldn’t believe how much juicy gossip there is concerning Sino.
Latest rumour: Owners of Sou Bar alledgedly summoned re unauthorised structure.
OK. If it is illegal it should be subject to the law. HOWEVER the SOU bar has been open and operational for several years. It has not been hidden from view or made to look like anything it is not. It is just outside the administrative offices of Sino! I’m guessing that Albert Kwong (manager) has seen it in his peregrinations about his property. He has clearly allowed the structure and has obviously agreed to its presence. So if the court finds it to be an illegal structure will Sino step up to the plate and take part of the blame?
Will Sino ADMIT they treat the law of Hong Kong as a ticket to ride for them and other fat cat property developers?
Have they been charging rent on the (alledgedly) illegal structure?
Have they been taking a ‘commission’?
Anyone got the answers?

2 May 2013

We are guessing that the rumour is untrue. That is good for the SOU bar as it is, by far, the most pleasant place to wile away a pleasant evening. Now if the staff could understand that customers pay their wages and ‘inaccurate’ billing and late change giving are not really acceptable. Lets get on and enjoy.

February 9th

IT’S CALLED PROPERTY HOARDING – AND THAT DOES NOT MEAN FENCING UNETHICAL BEHAVIOUR.
We have been asking Sino how many empty flats they are holding off the market in the Gold Coast. We have asked several times and have now received an answer. The correspondence appears at the end of this article.
This scandal has been bubbling beneath the surface of Hong Kong for years. Why should Hong Kong be building block after block of flats while the fat cats keep perfectly habitable homes off the market in the (now realised) hope that prices will increase.

ON OCTOBER 17 2011 HONG KONG MARKET WATCH REPORTED:
As Hong Kong’s chief executive delivered his farewell policy address last week, revelations about the extent of apartments lying empty in the territory grabbed the headlines, rather than a new subsidized-housing initiative.
and
This means worries about affordability, a potential recession in Hong Kong or even stricter mortgage rules can be ignored — the property market, it seems, is driven by investors who are so wealthy they don’t even bother to rent out their apartments.
and
Last week, after Tsang disclosed the number of apartments and households in Hong Kong, the data showed there were now 250,000 apartments uninhabited.
and
Comparable government figures from the end of 2009 show there were effectively 210,000 uninhabited units. In little over a year and a half, this number has grown by 40,000.
and
Perhaps not surprisingly, this period coincides with property and rental prices skyrocketing in Hong Kong. Prices are up around 70% since the Lehman crisis, and the majority of private residential tenants are facing upwards of 50% rental increases.

This revelation on empty apartments is likely to again put the scale of property purchases in Hong Kong by mainland Chinese in the spotlight.
The wasteful habit of leaving units lying empty coincides with a recent wave of mainland buying. One explanation is that cultural factors are at play, whereby mainlanders consider that once an apartment has been lived in, it is no longer new and thereby less desirable.
Others suggest the main motivation for this mainland buying in Hong Kong is primarily to get money discreetly offshore, rather than maximizing the value of the investment.

THE CHINA DAILY PUBLISHED THIS ON 22NDNOVEMBER 2011
The government will consider a tax on vacant properties, said Financial Secretary John Tsang on Monday, as he warned of an asset price bubble in the local property market.
At a Legislative Council financial affairs panel meeting, Tsang said that the measures aimed at curbing speculative activities in the property sector have taken effect as property transactions in the third quarter have slumped 40 percent on a quarterly basis and 60 percent year-on-year.

“The measures taken by the government with particular reference to the levy of special stamp duaty have been effective in curtailing short-term property speculative activities,” Tsang said.
and
A property vacant tax refers to the levy of tax on property owners who leave their properties vacant for a considerable period of time. The purpose of levying this taxation is to discourage property owners from leaving their properties for too long by increasing their costs so that the government can rein in surge in home prices and property rentals effectively.

ON SEPTEMBER 7TH 2010 THE ASIAN CORRESPONDENT PUBLISHED A PIECE BY ELMER CAGAPE WHICH SAID
The city’s top six developers, namely Cheung Kong, Sun Hung Kai, Henderson Land, Sino Land, Kerry Proeprties and New World Development, are currently busy with development projects that could provide an aggregate of 42.6 million square foot of total gross area. That’s equivalent to over 85,000 flats of 500 square feet each — more than enough to address the demand.
and
Timing is everything. When Sino Land bought a site located in the West Kowloon reclamation area in 2007, it didn’t rush its project plans. At the moment the only visible structure in place is the foundation and a little add-on. The planned launch of the Kowloon-Guangzhou rail link located within the same area in 2015 could provide a hint as to when will the Sino project gets launched.

Honkie Town, another Hong Kong blog, recently published an article from which, for the sake of your tired eyes, dear reader, we have taken an abstract.

Basically, New World did what it wanted to, without any fear of reprimand or reprisal, because they knew there wouldn’t be any. No one is going to tell them to take it down. No one’s going to say, “You lied to us so you can’t build any more buildings in Hong Kong for five years.” No one’s going to say, “you lied to us, give us 50% of the sales as a penalty.”
Hong Kong – if you’re rich, you can do whatever you want.

Now of course you know the score. We are all regarded by the property companies as being completely brain dead. They simply refuse to answer perfectly reasonable questions and bury their greedy little heads in the proverbial sand.

WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?
Well our closest concern is Sino. Who are they and why wont they respond?
The founder was Ng Teng Fong (simplified Chinese:黄廷芳; traditional Chinese: 黃廷芳; pinyin: Huáng Tíngfāng) (1928 – 2 February 2010). Hewas aSingaporean real estate tycoon,The big boss now, since the old man kicked the bucket is Robert Ng Chee Siong (黄志祥, born 1952) eldest son of the Singaporean family. Here is a list of the board of directors of Sino. Most disappointed to see the name of Robert Arculli a man of some local stature.
Sino Land’s board consists of the chairman, Robert Ng, as well as six executive directors:

• Raymond Tong Kwok Tung (唐國通)
• Yu Wai Wai (余惠偉)
• Thomas Tang Wing Yung (鄧永鏞)
• Daryl Ng Win Kong (黃永光), the eldest son of chairman Robert Ng
• Ringo Chan Wing Kwong (陳榮光)
• Sunny Yeung Kwong (楊光)
And four non-executive directors:[4]
• Ronald Arculli, practicing solicitor and chairman of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited
• Allan Zeman, best known as the chairman of Ocean Park Hong Kong and “father” ofLan Kwai Fong
• Fu Yuning (傅育寧), chairman and president of China Merchants Holdings (International)
• Adrian David Li Man-kiu (李民橋), general manager of the Bank of East Asia

Our first email dated 14 January 2013 follows:
Dear Mr. Kwong,
Certain rumours are circulating in Gold Coast. I would like your comments. (HKCOASTER Blog)
1. Starbucks are planning to move to Gold Coast and you intend to eject an existing popular business for them.
2. You have refused to extend the contract of another small business to allow another, bigger, name to take the premises.
3. You have allowed illegal structures to be erected by some of your tenants knowing that these structures contravened the BD ordinance.
Mr. Kwong, I am quite prepared to accept that the rumours are unfounded, but need you to confirm this.
Additional question in the light of today’s news regarding tax on empty properties:
4. How many residences in the Sino Gold Coast development are vacant now and how many have been vacant for six months or longer?
You appear to be reticent about replying. Do you have a problem with disclosing information that should, morally and ethically, be in the public domain?
The intention of the blog, above, is to bring to the public’s notice matters that may be regarded as unfair and/or exploitative.

Jailar hkcoaster
To bonnieip@sino.com

We are STILL waiting for your response regarding empty flats held by Sino. It is nearly New Year, you need to get things settled. How many flats, Bonnie?
We have asked the government and they have promised a response, the results of which will be published together with your refusal to respond.
Mr. Albert Kwong is also avoiding the subject. His name will also be published.
Hong Kong law gives us the right to information, Bonnie. If the answer is that Sino is holding no flats against the possibility of rising prices then tell us. We will be pleased to publish your response.
Thank you.
Dear Mr Jailar,

Thank you for your follow-up e-mails of 23 January and 5 February 2013 regarding tenant mix and building structures at Gold Coast Piazza as well as residential leasing at Hong Kong Gold Coast. As the matters raised are related to leasing, they are referred to this office as the leasing agent for follow-up and reply.
As we have explained in the previous e-mail, we are not able to discuss or disclose information pertaining to commercial negotiations of shops and premises, and we implore your kind understanding on our stance. [Ed: Oh, Miss Ip, we have a very CLEAR understanding on your stance.] As for unauthorised building works (UBW), once an UBW is identified, we will take proactive measures to liaise with the tenant concerned to take immediate actionto ensure compliance with the relevant requirements.
Once again, thank you for raising your concerns with us. We strive to enhance the shopping experience at the mall through introducing quality tenants that cater to the evolving needs of the customers and the community.
Should you have other comments, or if we could be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned on 2132 8342.
Yours sincerely,
Bonnie Ip

You will see no mention of the hoarded flats.
So we have written to our esteemed government and patiently await their response.
Note: If we are mistaken and neither Sino Land nor any of their companies or agents are ‘hoarding’ property we will be pleased to state that in this blog. Stay tuned.

______________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________

If you are a Brit and missing home consider this:

Speak for your own children, not mine, David Cameron

The prime minister’s claim that his government is doing ‘what’s best’ for future generations is simply not true

David Cameron’s ‘new year’s message’ claims that his government is doing “what’s best for our children’s future”. He must mean his own children and those of his class, since the Britain being formed around us is certainly not in the interest of my children or those of the most of us.

Two of mine are graduates struggling with student debt and earning little more than the minimum wage. They are unable to afford commercial rents, let alone able to consider buying a property, however run-down.

My third child is studying engineering and will be burdened with even more debt than his siblings. He has little prospect of finding rewarding work in the UK as the government continues to focus resources on a dysfunctional financial sector. A happy new year awaits those who already have, with austerity for the rest of us.

David Infield

Loughborough</

31 December 2012

2013. It is somehow an awkward number, don’t you think? Two thousand and thirteen. Perhaps ‘two, oh, one, three’ would be better. Mmm Nope! Its an awkward year alright. Part of the problem lies in the fact that 2012 (Two Twelve) was such a good year.   Whisky Liz’s Jubilee, those amazing Olympics, the naughty pics of Kate and proof, if ever proof was needed, that an American with the memorable but totally meaningless name of Mitt told Brits that they were not ready to stage the games. But we got the last laugh, the American people told him that he wasn’t ready to be president. (Excuse me while I LOL).

It was the year that Henry discovered, to his surprise, that his wife had built a wine cellar beneath his swimming pool and that obviously he had been so intent on good works that he failed to notice wheelbarrow upon wheelbarrow of the stuff of which the nine dragons was made trundling past him as he tended his plastic flowers or gazed wistfully at the hotels of ill repute that surrounded his house.

Then to cap it all, the guy who took up the baton, was too stupid to demolish his own illegal structures before he was elected by democratic process from an electorate of about 0.000001% of Hong Kong’s population.

It was the year that the transport department stopped some of the buses that attract people to live in the Gold Coast and it didn’t occur to the GC management that people might like to know why their lives were made more difficult.

And, as the year drew to a close the ineptness of that team of jobsworths was brought into sharp focus by the covers that had helped some restaurants make enough money to pay the Sino robber barons, being ordered away but the covers of a gentleman with very good contacts (so they say) remaining in place. We’ll watch developments with keen interest and report as necessary… unless, of course, we are visited by those nice gentlemen who, from their appearance and accessories are part time butchers.

Maybe 2013 will be the year that the management of the Gold Coast finally wake up to the fact that they are not the sharpest knives and tender their mass resignation.

_____________________________________________________________________________

I am supposed to write a little here about who I am and what I stand for. You will know almost all you need to know when I say that I will not.

I try, and often fail, to support justice. I try, but often fail, to support people who say ‘no’ to mindless authority. Some might say I am a bolshi bastard and some may worship me from afar. But I am who I am and if you know me then you should – and if you do not, then you should not.

Things I hate: Lies, cheats and cons; in business and politics. Exploitation of those who do not have the courage to say no and of those who are manipulated in the name of elite benefit.

If you support the status quo, if you support an elite society, if you see no wrong in government by the silver spoon fed sons of the greedy and corrupt, then this blog is not for you.

I have no cause but to be a pin beneath the saddle of those who ride roughshod over ordinary people.

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