Friday 11th October 2019

Dear Reader,

It's time for restaurant and bar owners to come out and support the abolition of their corporate votes in the Catering sector, giving their workers the vote instead. An economic recovery is in everyone's interests. Be at the table, not on the menu.

A closer look at Maxim's
Recent filings reveal the true profits of Hongkong Caterers Ltd, the 50% owner of Maxim's run by the Wu family, and how they take out a substantial management fee from Maxim's on top of the 50% of profits. We also estimate that about 1 in 7 dollars of HK restaurant receipts go to the Maxim's group. Annie Wu has only a 0.33% stake of HC, although her parents and siblings control an estimated 18.6%. (11-Oct-2019)

Carrie Lam and the separation of powers
After trying to breach the firewall between the 2 Systems with the Extradition Bill, she's at it again, invoking the ERO to enact law by regulation. The PFCR, which she says is subsidiary legislation, sets penalties higher than permitted by Ordinance. Subsidiary legislation cannot override existing Ordinances, so she had better not try. Meanwhile, basic maths and weekend events suggest the anti-mask law fails the rational connection test and is unconstitutional. (8-Oct-2019)

Making laws via the ERO may be unconstitutional
The Basic Law establishes a clear separation of powers between executive and legislative branches. A law that allows the Chief Executive to make laws appears unconstitutional. We expect a judicial review if she tries it. Even if she succeeds, draconian laws don't address the root problem: a deficit in democratic accountability for both the CE and LegCo. We again propose local legislation to scrap corporate voting and democratise the system. (4-Oct-2019)

Webb in a Webinar: HK-Invocation of emergency powers
AIMA, 9-Oct-2019
A discussion on the HK Government's use of the Emergency Regulations Ordinance, whether the ERO and the anti-mask regulation made by it are constitutional, and the broader issue of where HK may go from here. A form is required to listen but any answers will do. Held at 17:30 on 9-Oct-2019.

'It's not about the money': What Beijing doesn't get about HK protesters
Los Angeles Times, 9-Oct-2019

HKICPA fines Ernst & Young HK$350k and Andrew Wu Kwok Keung HK$100k
HKICPA, 9-Oct-2019
Over 14 years after optical frame-maker Moulin collapsed in a heap of fraudulent accounts, the auditor and its ex-managing partner, who retired in 2010, are fined for their myopic see-no-evil approach to the work. We note that Mr Wu now chairs the audit committee of SPT Energy (1251). Let's hope his vision has improved. Mr Wu's fine takes into account his "personal circumstances", which presumably include pay of RMB340k last year from SPT Energy. Moulin paid E&Y HK$10.8m for the 2 years in question.

And much more besides...
Remember that, apart from our occasional artisanal articles, you can follow Webb-site Reports via RSS, Twitter or Facebook.

Pass it on!
This free newsletter goes to over 28,000 subscribers. If you enjoy the site, then please invite a friend to find out what they are missing and subscribe!

Copyright notice
This e-mail and small extracts of any article on the site may be freely quoted in any other publication but ONLY if attribution is given to

David M. Webb