Year-end prophesies for the year to come usually have all the conviction and accuracy of a Hong Kong government budget surplus forecast but I think you will find these spookily spot on next year.
When everybody failed to take seriously the government’s suggestion of HK$80,000 as a disqualifying asset limit for an old age pension and Labour Secretary Matthew Cheung asked the public not to take it seriously, this set the stage for the government’s new 2016 ‘Don’t Take It Seriously’ campaign. It will encourage us not to take any government figures seriously in the interests of anger management and letting them get away with stuff. So when they announce in summer that a new town is to be built on Po Toi – and connected by a dual purpose road and rail bridge from Shek O – at a cost of half a trillion, we all shout, ‘Make that a trillion!’ and collapse in giggles.
In June, the result of the government’s consultation on old age pensions will be that the rich don’t want to tamper with anything, the middle class doesn’t want to pay tax for anything, the working class doesn’t care about anything and the old themselves have forgotten what the question was. The whole issue will be handed over for longer term consideration to Tung Chee-hwa’s ‘Our Hong Kong’ think tank of 100 people who meet twice a year in an old building on Kennedy Road to congratulate themselves for being on the right side of history, then return to their money.
The new tourism campaign for 2016 will be titled ‘Lest is Best’. (It should have been ‘Least is Best’ but the government’s English translation section thought this sounded snappier). This comes after great heart was taken from Christmas tourism figures which showed mainland tourists down by two million but overseas tourists up by 60. Trained in the Pyongyang School of counter realism marketing, Tourism Board executives decided that Hong Kong was now concentrating on ‘quality over quantity’ tourism.
Mostly white or heavily tanned foreigners from the Caribbean (beaches, not real blacks) will disembark from C class-only aircraft for which the airport’s third runway (HK$400 billion ….ok, maybe HK$800 billion. Seriously now. Stop laughing!) will be reserved exclusively. They will occupy several empty hotel rooms each and shop for readily available ivory goods, furs and knocked off jewels.
Whole restaurants will be available for three or four quality foreigners to eat shark fin and turtle. Canton Road will be deserted enough for them to take long extravagant strides down with their Afghans. Other sorts of Afghans, along with only the most select African asylum seekers, will provide the highest quality cocaine for their evening’s pleasure. This will all deal a satisfactory blow to localism groups…
…which will be listed as terrorist organisations in 2016. This will be under the new counter terrorism legislation which will come to Hong Kong, not because the mainland has just got theirs but because Hong Kong would be the only territory without its own, apart from Islamic State. Included in the inaugural list will be the Equal Opportunities Commission for talking dirty and the government’s own Audit Department for being the only people taking the government’s figures seriously.
A first is in the making for Hong Kong when the UK Consul-General puts a surplus to requirement car park at her HK$450 million flat in the Opus on the market in February. With a totally padded back wall for those who find interpreting car collision alarms a challenge, a built –in round the clock, no skiving off on Sundays Filipina washing appliance and a force field which repels cats and anyone without the right key fob, the space is expected to be listed at HK$24 million, the world’s most expensive.
Following on from his transcendence status, 2016 will see the Chief Executive declared transfigured, translucent, transmogrified and, by year’s end, infallible which will make all criticism of him unnecessary and unwise. Any persons found travelling behind his car or that of any policy secretary at a distance of less than twenty feet for longer than 30 seconds will be transmuted.
In 2016, emigration figures will soar.