HKSAR Government

At last, the Webb-site HKSAR Accounts Explorer
In honour of the 25th anniversary of the SAR, a new tool to deep-dive into its financial history. This may be our last major project, but we hope you will agree that it was worth the time. (14-Jun-2022)
The geo-politics of HK's clunky contact-tracing app
We look at the deceptively-named "LeaveHomeSafe" app, and why it failed to adopt the automated technology worked out by Google and Apple for exposure notifications and instead resorted to a home-brewed QR-scanning system that few will use. The answer may lie in politics. (19-Nov-2020)
Court order bans online messages inciting violence
RTHK, 31-Oct-2019
This is getting silly. It is already illegal under common law to incite a crime. The penalty is the same as the underlying crime itself. What is needed is an injunction against people applying for injunctions against crimes. This follows an application 3 days ago by TVB for an injunction against people attacking its staff or property, both of which are offences already.
Exclusive: HK Government to launch "Christian Bonds"
Webb-site has learned of secret plans to turn Hong Kong into a Christian Finance hub, and of course, they are launching it on Easter Sunday. (1-Apr-2018)
Belts and Burqas
Shortly before Christmas, the HK Financial Secretary announced the birth of the first Belt and Road bond in HK, the latest in a line of financial gimmicks designed to avoid meaningful regulatory reforms. (10-Jan-2018)
An audience with HK's leader
The leader of HK has agreed to meet members of the public for 6 hours per week: a historic idea which remains valid. (16-Dec-2015)
GLD Controller sentenced for HK$4.2m housing loan & allowances fraud
ICAC, 4-Sep-2015
This case is another example of muddled thinking on civil service remuneration. Civil servants, like anyone else, should be paid what their services are worth, and not an amount based on whether or not they are renting a home or have a mortgage to pay. Mr Leung's "crime" was to claim what someone in his position would have been paid if he had actually rented the flat for the period he claimed.
GLD Controller admits HK$4.2m housing loan and allowances fraud
ICAC, 27-Jul-2015
Civil servant and wife in alleged HK$4.2m housing loan and allowance fraud
ICAC, 15-May-2015
Pushing water uphill
The slow drip of the Water Supplies Department's e-billing system. (25-Mar-2012)
HKEx welcomes iBonds, hopes to list them
Company media release, 23-Feb-2011
It would be nice if the bonds were actually admitted to CCASS and traded on the stock exchange, rather than the phoney "listings" that all the existing Government bonds have, where there is no trading on HKEx and retail investors are held captive by the banks in the over-the-counter market.
Your ID number is not a password
There is a common misconception that HK identity card numbers are secrets, a misconception that Government is promoting by its policy actions, putting us on the road to increased abuse of the HKID and higher economic losses from fraud. To prevent this, the register of ID numbers and names should be published, after a transition to allow commercial abusers to stop abusing the ID for authentication. This article also looks at the unfulfilled potential of the Smart ID Card, including biometric authentication and electronic money. (8-Nov-2010)
The Post Office Investment Fund
Following yesterday's Audit Commission report on Hongkong Post, we look at the potential closure of rural post offices, removal of its mail monopoly and universal service obligation, and its cash-rich balance sheet and prime property. We also discuss the Government's tendency to stash pots of money away in different bodies rather than pass recurrent spending through the budget and the Legislative Council and manage its liquid funds centrally. (22-Apr-2010)
Who's who in HK's elite today launches a new database feature, with past and present membership of the hundreds of statutory and advisory bodies appointed by the Government, as well as the Election Committee, Executive, Legislative and District Councils, adding to our database of listed company directors. If your organisation is important, but not a listed company or government body, then help us add it to the database. (12-Apr-2010)
Proposed law sells HK short
If the Government consulted the public on a speed limit of 50km/h, then set it at 4km/h, wouldn't you wonder why? That's what the SFC has done after a consultation which from the outset was a solution in search of a non-existent problem. We call on the SFC to withdraw or amend its proposed filing requirements for 0.02% short positions and to focus with Government on filling the gap in the existing law by requiring public disclosure of short positions, including derivatives, at the same level as long positions, currently 5%. What do you think? Take our poll! (7-Mar-2010)
HK's stamp duty addiction
We look at the HK Government's opium-like addiction to stamp duty revenues, which have more than quintupled in 7 years. The budget asks for another fix. Stamp duty is sand in the wheels of the economy, distorting economic decisions and reducing economic output. It should be abolished rather than increased further. Higher stamp duty does not improve property affordability. HK needs a root-and-branch review of taxation to refocus on fair taxation of GDP rather than one-off measures and distortive policies. (2-Mar-2010)
The fictitious spokesman
We look at the HK Government's media management strategy, involving abuse of unattributed briefings, and the quotation of imaginary spokespersons, 97.3% of whom are male. The HK media should put a stop to this practice. (28-Feb-2010)

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