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Showing posts from 2013

Past Events: 2013

Media coverage and speaking engagements in 2013


Featured author at "Meet the Authors on a Tram" event by DETOUR Classroom
Venue: Repurposed tram departing from North Point
Date: 7 December

Roll-out of "I'm FINished with FINS" campaign
Date: 28 November

Book signing event at Bookazine
New Book: No City for Slow Men
Venue: Bookazine, 3/F, Prince's Building
Date: 28 November

Author-panelist at Hong Kong International Literary Festival 2013
Venue: City University, Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre
Date: 10 November 2013

Spokesperson for "I'm FINished with FINS" campaign
Date: October 2013

MANIFESTO and Jason's  column "The Urban Confessional" gone international
Hong Kong's only unisex lifestyle magazine is being stocked in bookstores around the world, including the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Australia
Date: 1 September

Media launch for Hong Kong International Literary Festival 2013
Venue: Fringe Club
Date: 24 September

Guest spea…

Kong vs. Hong Kong 移民對居民

The Court of Final Appeal, the city’s highest court, handed down an unpopular judgment two weeks ago. Five justices unanimously ruled that the government’s seven-year residency requirement for welfare application is unconstitutional. In Hong Kong, “welfare” is formally known as Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA), which averages around HK$3,000 (less than US$400) per month per applicant. The meager assistance is meant to be a bare minimum to give the unemployed or the unemployable a subsistence living.

Reactions to the court’s landmark decision poured in almost immediately. Social advocacy groups hailed the ruling as a victory in welfare rights for not only the immigrant community but all of Hong Kong. The rest of the city was not as thrilled. Many Hong Kongers see the lowering of the residency threshold as a threat to their existence, their tax dollars now robbed by newcomers. Netizens on Facebook and Golden Forum (高登), an online chat room and a windsock of public opinio…

The Art of Profanity 粗口藝術

We react to life’s little vicissitudes – nicking the car door, dropping the phone on a concrete pavement or losing hours of work to a computer crash – with a curse word or two. If some brute walks by and knocks the coffee right out of our hand, the appropriate response is: What the fuck? 

Swearing is one of those things that we do everyday and nearly everywhere. But like breaking wind and picking our nose, profanity is only bad when someone else does it. Most of us are too squeamish or sanctimonious to own up to it. Rarely in the human experience has something so universally shared been so vehemently condemned and denied.

Profanity exists in every culture. Curse words are the first vocabulary we learn in a foreign language and the only one we remember years later. The linguistic phenomenon can be traced as far back as Ancient Egypt and Babylon. Literary giants like William Shakespeare, James Joyce and George Bernard Shaw were known to use obscenity inventively in their works, as did …

Getting Away with Murder 逃之夭夭

Old Cheung was sitting on his front porch when he noticed his house was on fire. He ran inside to retrieve his children who were asleep on the second floor. Moments later, Cheung re-emerged with two of his three sons.
“What happened to little Mickey?” asked the neighbors.
“There wasn’t enough time for the third,” said Cheung.
But there clearly was – the fire started in the basement and hadn’t yet spread to the rest of the house.
“Go back in to get Mickey, old Cheung,” the neighbors urged.
“I’ve already made up my mind,” the father stood his ground. “Besides, Mickey hasn’t been a very good son compared to my other two.”
An intense discussion among the neighbors ensued, as the crowd debated Cheung’s assessment of his youngest child. While many found Mickey energetic and intelligent, others concurred with Cheung that the boy didn’t quite measure up to his brothers.
“This is insane!” shouted one of the neighbors. “How could you guys be arguing which son is better than which, when clearly…

To Eat or Not to Eat 吃還是不吃

That is the question.
Exotic animals and their body parts have always been an integral part of Chinese cuisine. They run the gamut from the pangolin (穿山甲) and the Himalayan palm civet (果子狸) to bear’s paw and swallow’s spit. In terms of universal appeal and indispensability, few things come close to the venerable shark’s fin soup.
The tradition of making soups using dorsal and pectoral fins from tiger sharks can be traced all the way back to the Ming imperial kitchen some 400 years ago. At any given Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong, whether it is a wedding banquet or a corporate function, a feast is not a feast without the obligatory soup served on a twelve-course menu between the steamed grouper and the crispy chicken. Omitting the soup, on the other hand, will not only disappoint and offend guests, but also stir up rumors of financial ruin shrouding the host for years to come. Contrary to common belief in the West, shark’s fin soup is much more than a luxury. It is as much a part of…

As You LIKE It 人人讚好

Social media are the greatest invention of the 21st Century, not least because they provide ready fillers for life’s many dull moments. The virtual world is the perfect antidote to our real life drudgery. Bring on the mile-long taxi line, the interminable Monday morning meeting and even the deadly silent treatment from an upset spouse. All we need to do is whip out our phones, drop our heads and, with a flick of the thumb, wade through stream after mind-numbing stream of news feeds and tweets. In the parallel universe of restaurant check-ins, vacation selfies and baby videos, we are the celebrities and we are the groupies. No one wants to admit it, but many of us have started to reorganize our lives based on how the status update would look on our carefully manicured timeline.

It is therefore all the more important to observe proper online decorum and protect our virtual image. The idea that anything goes in Cyberspace, or that a random post is as consequence-free as tossing a bottl…

Preoccupy Central 佔中前瞻

Earlier this month, I got a lunch invitation from my friend Sharon who is an English law firm partner based in Hong Kong. She said she wanted to try Amber, a restaurant in the Landmark that looks out to Queen’s Road Central. I was happy with her choice – Amber is one of the best French fusion restaurants in the city. And it’s only a short walk away from both of our offices.
During lunch the two of us covered the usual topics: the market, the weather, new restaurants and travel plans. The food came, we ate, we ordered coffee and we complained about the summer heat. Outside the window, the blazing sun beat down on the lunch crowd. Traffic lights changed and car horns blared.
Good old Central, the engine room of our economy.

I tuned out just long enough for Sharon to take notice. She reeled me back in with a topic she knew I would be interested in. “What do you think of this whole Occupy Central business?” she asked. “I can’t imagine Hong Kong shutting down.”
“The city won’t shut down,…

Chronicle of an End Foretold 預知終結記事

I work in the finance industry and I’m used to personnel turnover. Bankers, traders and lawyers hop from one bank to another every few years. While some leave on their own accord, others are pushed out because they don’t deliver. Before a co-worker announces a departure, I usually see it coming a mile away. The signs are always there for the taking. For instance, he suddenly keeps a low profile and reduces meetings and emails to a minimum. He is hardly at his desk any more – and when he is, he is organizing files or on the phone with HR. He clears his vacation days and schedules dental works and physical checkups. Things that he used to care a great deal about, like headcount and budget, no longer seem to bother him. But he is careful about keeping up appearances: he smiles a lot, wears a suit a lot and says “let’s grab lunch some time” to people a lot.

If C.Y. Leung worked on my floor, I would have said to myself, “Yep, he’ll be gone in three months. Six months tops.” Since I first…