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Culture & Leisure

Notorious housing issue introduced into children's book

While the notorious housing condition for the poor has been the top concern of many from the working class in Hong Kong, Janas Lau Pui, a local artist specializing in children’s book and graphic novels, decided to make it a relevant topic to children by creating an illustration book. "Usually, the stories for children are about daily activities like going to the salon or going to the zoo but I want to use it as a tool to communicate with children about social issues," said Ms. Lau. Born and raised in Hong Kong in the 80s, Ms. Lau once experienced living in a cramped flat, a 300-feet space with nine family members and a double deck bed. "I wonder why the living condition nowadays is even worse than I had 30 years ago, so I want to produce a piece and raise people’s awareness about it," she said. Named as "Where is my next home?", an exhibition for the book is now held inside a nostalgic Cantonese dessert store in The Mills, an industrial place that has been revitalized into a cultural complex consisting of retail shops, co-working spaces and start-up hubs. Having been published in countries like UK and Australia, Lau's illustration book has an international readership. She recalled that a 9-year-old reader from Australia once asked why the rooftops of the buildings in Sham Shui Po were so shabby in her book. Ms. Lau told him to go and observe the buildings in that area and explore the reasons behind it. Ms. Lau thinks that it is hard to explain or watch news programmes with children, so it would be easier to open topics about social issues by using a children’s book. "I think this topic is too advanced for my four-year-old boy, which he can't really relate …

Photo Essay

Discovering the city of Lijiang through taste

Northwest in Yunnan Province in China, Lijiang is a city rich culture. Its Old Town area has more than 800 years of history which played a crucial role during the ancient Silk Road. Craig Au-Yeung, show host and food columnist, along with his wife Millie Wong, showcase their travel experiences in Lijiang and demonstrates an uncomplicated but hearty Yunnan home dish — Stewed Potatoes and Rice — for the participating food enthusiasts. This workshop took place in the Taste Library on the fifth floor of PMQ in Central, a 2000 square-foot space which encourages culinary explorations through the form of literature with books from around the globe.  

Photo Essay

Chinese New Year speciality: Fish-shaped rice cakes

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Anna Kam、Nadia LamEdited by: Katherine Li、Anna Kam、Nadia Lam
  • 2019-02-04

Following two families creating beautiful rice cakes in the form of fish at PMQ. During the Lunar New Year, the fishes symbolise having financial surplus while the rice cakes symbolise that children with grow taller and also do better in the coming year. Two families with two lovely girls prepare to start their craft with the help of Cordon Bleu graduate, Andy Dark, who teaches them how to create beautiful rice cakes.

Politics

IB and DSE: A Difference beyond numbers

Five years ago, Vanessa Lee Wing-kai was in high school, she chose to study for an International Baccalaureate Diploma, a qualification which was less known in Hong Kong at the time. "The proportion of IB to Hong Kong Diploma of Education students was about 30 to 100. There were two classes of IB students, while there were eight classes of DSE students," said Ms. Lee. In fact, she does not think studying IB made her better than any DSE students.  "IB will only become an advantage if its diverse and integrative learning style suits you," said Ms. Lee. Over the past few years, the number of students admitted to universities in Hong Kong through non-JUPAS (Joint University Programmes Admissions System) programmes such as IB rose significantly. According to data provided by the University Grants Committee, those with IB diplomas increased by 4% over four years. In 2013, Gabriel Matthew Leung, Dean of the Department of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong, said in an open seminar that he hoped to take up the responsibility to ensure local DSE students their right to university education by increasing the overall departmental JUPAS admission quota to more than 75%. Previous record of JUPAS admission numbers online showed a total intake of 150 students for Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery programme at HKU in 2012. But this year, less than half of the 235 students admitted to the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery programme at HKU were JUPAS high school leavers, according to data from HKU. That raised questions on whether non-JUPAS students were given an unfair advantage by Hong Kong's eight UGC-funded universities. Earlier this month, legislator Ip Kin-yuen released an official statement of reply from the Education Bureau which contained non-JUPAS student admission numbers from each UGC-funded …

Society

Discovery Bay community outraged as boathouse families face eviction

On September 9, the usual tranquillity of Sunday evenings in Discovery Bay was disrupted by thousands of residents participating in a demonstration, against the impending eviction of Discovery Bay Marina Club houseboat residents.The move is due to new plans initiated at Tai Pak Bay by the Hong Kong Resort (HKR), a company which owns most of the development projects in the area. All dressed in white shirts, the demonstrators marched from Marina Club on to Discovery Drive and up Sienna Road. They gathered at the centre of the North Plaza at around 6pm, right before the commencement of their community hall meeting. "We want the Hong Kong Resorts to understand that their actions don't just affect the Marina residents, but also this entire community," said Henry Moreno, one of the organisers of the demonstration, who is also the chairman of 208 affected boathouse members. Mr. Moreno moved to Marina Club with his wife and three children just two years ago because they could not afford an apartment in Hong Kong. His boat costed him around $4.4 million, of which he still has a $3 million mortgage yet to be paid. However, once evicted with nowhere to berth, his vessel will worth nothing. "I am close to facing personal bankruptcy," said Mr. Moreno, "I still have three kids that go to school here, two in Discovery Bay International School which is owned by Hong Kong Resort and one in Discovery College, who would be out of school if we can't make things work. I have a family to take care of, so leaving the marina with nowhere to go is definitely not an option. But right now I really don’t know where we can go." Discovery College and Discovery Bay International School are the two main schools in the area. In …

Society

Hong Kong government misses the "Spark" on technology

"We may be losing out on talents because of gender stereotype, but the issue here is our government need to understand the importance of technology and make policy changes accordingly," said Charles Peter Mok, Legislative Council member for the IT functional constituency, last Sunday at a discussion panel. Four leading figures in the IT industry attended the SPARK discussion panel the other day commenting on gender biases and how to make technology meaningful to people in Hong Kong, including Mok, Esther Ho Yuk-fan, vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Careers Masters and Guidance Masters, Liu Candy, general manager of the HKC Technology and co-chairman of the Hong Kong Computer Society FACE Club and Jacqui Speculand, course director at the School of Media and Performing Arts in Coventry University. Mok expressed that the slow changes on study curriculums’ policy were not encouraging enough students in Hong Kong because it has been starting to allocate funding to the innovation sector since last year’s budget. Speculand of Coventry University, who teaches in HK THEi, stressed that students were generally “single-minded” because the study environment in Hong Kong lacked “the freedom to choose.” "Some of my students once told me they were not as good as the others because they failed the exam (DSE) which was heartbreaking to hear,"  Speculand added. Ho emphasized that school curriculums need to change in a way which would help students make sense of their learning by building connections between the subjects they are studying and their future career. "You need to educate students that technology is a part of life," Ho explained.   According to  Liu, who first formed the Hong Kong Computer Society FACE Club together with her 9 other like-minded individuals, the significance of technology has actually been present in various fields of profession such as …

Business

Investors unfazed over grey areas of Bitcoin regulation

Hong Kong has seen the rise of money laundering and illicit payments in this year. According to the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF), there has been 3671 cases of deception-related crimes reported in the first half of 2018 -- including email scams and investment fraud. In addition, Hong Kong's anti-fraud squad has discovered that thousands of Hong Kong bank accounts have been used to launder about $4 million in the past year. Some of these fraudsters made use of Bitcoin -- a popular type of cryptocurrency -- to commit these crimes. First founded in 2009, Bitcoin does not need to rely on a central bank or single administrator to be sent from user to user.  To ensure its security, Bitcoin also uses cryptography to secure and verify transactions. As such, it is possible to conduct transactions anonymously, allowing these fraudsters to make use of its anonymous nature for ransom or blackmail. This also makes it difficult for police to identify fraudsters. Due to these crimes, local banks are increasingly wary about cryptocurrencies, which makes it more difficult for investors to obtain bank accounts to trade Bitcoin. For example, local cryptocurrency exchange Gatecoin received a notification from Han Seng Bank that their company bank account is suspended without further explanation last year. The exchange was forced to create a foreign bank account to continue with their operations. Banks are also charging high interest rates for many cryptocurrency exchanges in order to discourage investors to mine Bitcoin locally. according to the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong. These concerns have prompted some nations to scrutinise their current cryptocurrency policies. For example, China is one of the most extreme regulators of cryptocurrency trading. The nation has started to ban Bitcoin miners, while also freezing bank accounts associated with cryptocurrency exchanges. They have even blocked …

The New Kick-off : Live sports and VR

  • 2019-01-21

20-year-old football fanatic, Tse Pak-hoi Tonny, had anticipated the VR live football match streaming experience for long, which eventually happened in the 2018 Russia World Cup last Summer. It was the first time ever immersive technology kicked into the field of football. Last Summer, the 2018 World Cup worked with Oculus, a US-based VR technology company, to offer VR live-streaming of matches through Oculus Go, the company's own VR  headset goggles. Fox sports live-streamed four World Cup matches for free on Oculus Venue, while BBC Sports VR app broadcasted 33 live matches. The most ambitious of all went to Spanish company, Telemundo Deportes VR, which covered 64 live World Cup matches with paid TV subscriptions. As an experienced viewer who watches local and international live football matches four to five times each month both on TV and at scene, Mr. Tse explained he felt clueless and confused after having his first trial with a short 360 video of Madrid versus Juventus in the 2017 Champions League Final from Fox Soccer online. "The very first thing that I immediately knew when the game started was I did not know what to focus on. There were too many things happening around," said Mr. Tse. Chief operating officer of VR Educate, Ko Ping-yeung, explained the VR experience of a live-streamed sports game is different from what usual VR experience can offer because the nature of sports games viewing and playing video games are different. "You cannot think of them as the same thing. In VR videos and gameplays, they choreographed animated characters with a fictional plot, which users are guaranteed to experience interactions. However, I guess for live sports, there is probably not much you can do beforehand except making sure you have the equipment you need to make things as real as …

Society

Operation Santa Claus: Food experiences for pupils with disabilities

With help from Operation Santa Claus, Caritas Jockey Club Lok Yan School plans to develop simple and healthy recipes for their pupils suffering from "complex medical cases". OSC is an annual charity campaign that aims to support the Hong Kong community and beyond, through the combined charitable fundraising power of two of Hong Kong's most respected news organisations - South China Morning Post and Radio Television Hong Kong.

Politics

Legco By-election: pro-democracy camp's second defeat in Kowloon West

Hong Kong's pro-democracy camp has failed to regain veto power in the Legislative Council as the pro-establishment camp gets the upper hand in yesterday's Kowloon West by-election. Rebecca Chan Hoi-yan, who ran as an independent backed by pro-establishment forces, emerged victorious with 106,457 votes, leading by 13,410 votes. This is the first time the pro-establishment camp wins democrats by such a large margin. "I'm very excited to see this result. I'm grateful to every volunteer in my team and people who support me," said Ms. Chan, former TVB and Cable News journalist and political assistant to Secretary for Food and Health. Ms. Chan said she would focus on current work about people's livelihoods and keep her promises to the voters, instead of thinking about the next election. "We are going to make real and practical contributions," Ms. Chan said. "People's livelihoods are the first priority, and we should solve the problems concerning people's lives first." Despite facing controversies over election campaign expenses and her comments on Victor Mallet's visa denial that it was irrelevant to press freedom, she has a relatively high support rate of 25% according to the University of Hong Kong Public Opinion Programme's pre-election polls. Lee Cheuk-yan, who announced his decision to join the election after previously ousted lawmaker Lau Siu-lai's nomination was invalidated, have not succeeded in gaining the Kowloon West seat. He is the "Plan B" of pro-democracy camp, meaning that he would only join the election upon Ms. Lau's invalidation as an "alternative choice." Mr. Lee said he had “learned a lot from this election," and appealed to care for the future. He pointed out that there were still plenty of "battles" to fight, such as the legislation of Article 23, implementation of Lantau Tomorrow Vision. "As a Hongkonger, we can be disappointed, but …