Thursday, 4 February 2016

Hong Kong & Taiwan's "Brain Drain"

The following SCMP article doesn’t surprise me (  I think a severe “brain drain” has been going on for some time, as evidenced by the high proportion of intellectual dross in the community. 

Historically, HK’s talent outflow was predominantly westward. Now it’s north and west. Both Taiwan and HK suffer a silent leakage of useful people. Silent because the more serious the depletion, the less we hear about it. The mainstream media don’t like the story, and the alternative voices are gone. Two million Taiwanese live in mainland China. Serious enough? Hush hush.

Before retirement, I had the terrible karma of being in charge of an incineration plant through the company’s Taiwan subsidiary. We went through five plant managers in six years. The first ones deserted Democratic Taiwan to serve “evil communist bandits”. The second-last was fired for being an outrageous crook. Finally, an English expatriate was lured to the post with a generous hardship allowance. By then, we couldn’t find a local person better qualified than a janitor to run the plant. We’d have paid any party acceptable to the government to take over the contract, but nearly no multinational was interested in having an operational presence in Taiwan. Another simple fact which defies the chimera promoted by the mainstream media. Research if you don’t believe me.

As usual, informed folks with a good brain and sound spirit enjoy higher mobility. They are also less inclined to waste time on fatuous debates with ideological fanatics and slogan parrots impervious to facts and ignorant of history. When the noise becomes unbearable, they seek better pastures elsewhere. Adios! Some say good riddance: These people have no principles! They have only money in mind! They serve undemocratic dictators etc. etc. Nobody bothers to retort. Those who think otherwise are gone, leaving behind a self-endorsing vocal unanimity. Look, 10% of Taiwanese have voted with their feet. Are they the worst of Taiwan? If so, after bleeding off this layer of greedy and unprincipled scumbags, the average human quality in Taiwan must have surged. Hey, congratulations! Well done boss!

Hong Kong’s situation is similar, but for a few fortuitous advantages. Our significance as a gateway of China has greatly diminished in the past decades, but the China-cake has expanded manifold at the same time, keeping this tiny place replete with opportunities. Furthermore, mainlanders and foreigners have been trickling in to replenish the leaky talent pool. 

After decades of populist democracy, many Western countries are facing its economic and political consequences. The more adventurous and mobile are similarly leaving home to seek more exciting prospects elsewhere. Some end up in HK, which is still a friendly place for foreigners to grow new roots. These new immigrants tend to be young and spirited. Unlike their colonial predecessors, they live among the masses in tiny overpriced flats, biding their time. Together with mainland migrants, they have become a vital force on campuses as well as professional circles, maintaining Hong Kong’s colourful facade and entrepreneurial ambiance.

But fewer mainlanders are coming, and more are returning north. The SCMP writer correctly points to “xenophobia” as a main trigger, though “xenophobia” may not be the right word. It’s “auto-racism” — a pathetic rejection, even persecution, of one’s own kind for having worked harder, become better, and risen faster than oneself — which is causing Hong Kong’s endogenous decay.  

James Tam @ Guo Du

港臺 ”腦外洩“


其實香港的人才外流,英文的所謂 「腦外洩」,已經流了一段時間。稍為留意今天社會上腦渣滓的不尋常比例,便可一瞥端倪。香港過往的腦外洩都往西去,後期回流的也不少。二十一世紀的流向比較多樣,有北有西,有喜有悲。台灣跟香港都有嚴重的腦外洩問題,但聲音不多。傳媒不報道,大家便聽不到。而外洩越嚴重,警號聲便越微弱,因為會發警號的人都跑了。兩百萬台灣人搬了回大陸生活工作,夠嚴重吧!還是別提了。不提便沒有問題啦!台灣是塊民主福地,有美國認同,請大家鼓掌!

Sunday, 29 November 2015


                                                                                                                               illustration claire tam :
Read English Version: Gollum's Demon

「陳先生,咩事呀?」 她也感覺到氣氛不對勁。
她這一問,倒把他解了穴。他攤開雙手,竪起手指,像魔術師準備變戲法的姿勢:「乖乖,唔好出聲。吁!乖!」 他一邊說,一邊拉濕膩的被單,把她蓋上。

Gollum's Demon

                                                                                                                         illustration claire tam :

Gollum will soon be discharged. 
Thirteen years had passed slowly. Some days had felt like eternity. 
Life is hard, but starting a new life is much harder.
The sun will be up soon. Will Demon survive?

The pounding on the door sends him sitting bolt upright.
“Open! Police check!”
He can’t move or think. All his blood seems to have drained. He’s cold, so cold that he can’t shiver. His stomach is churning, but too weak to throw up.  
Three more knocks, ominously gentler.
An indistinct discussion outside, followed by the confused sound of keys clinking…
She stares up at him. 
Through a chink in the black paper taped over the windows of the hourly motel, a dim shaft of light lands on her waxy oval face. A thick strand of greasy hair, damp with his sweat, is caught between burgundy lips. Plump yet dry and faintly wrinkled, they look like pig livers after a long day at the butcher’s counter.
Her dark round eyes, vacuous and wide like a Japanese voodoo doll’s, reveal a dazed trepidation.
Mud si ah? Chan Sang? What’s the matter Mr. Chan? Her abstract voice unfreezes him. He raises his hands as if to show nothing’s hidden in his palms. 
Shhh. Guai guai. Be good. Be very quiet. Shhh. 
He pulls the clammy blanket over her. She doesn’t protest. She never does. 
The door swings wide open. 
“Police!” A bright light shines on his face. Searing heat penetrates his frozen head, setting off a deafening ring inside. 
Startled, he pees the bed. The urine keeps flowing, as if his bladder is infinite. The warmth feels comforting for an instant. The stomach lets go. He convulses violently, and vomits all over himself and the unmoving shape of her tiny body, curled up against his drenched lower body.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Her Majesty and Commies

The irony of history often becomes sharper with time. Given enough of it, the intricate matrix of cause and effect often produces results which were previously unimaginable. The significance of any event does remain “too early to tell” for a very long period. 
In 1792, King George III (Why couldn’t they name them something other than Henry and George to avoid version numbers?) had recently lost the American colonies. It probably drove him nuts, and to pivot towards Africa and Asia. He sent Lord Macartney (who’s also George by the way) to open trade with China. “Get some kind of a free trade agreement, George,” said George. But Britain and China were going through drastically different phases in their life cycles. Britain was in the middle of a world shattering industrial revolution. After centuries of religious bondage, it had discovered a newfound sense of enlightenment, enjoying an unprecedented level of confidence and ambition. On the other hand, the ageing Emperor Qian Long was tired. Go tell your O King Georgie Number Three the Celestial Empire doesn’t need gadgets, he told George lethargically, then dozed off.


話說1792年,英皇喬治三世(外國的皇室替孩子改名似乎不大創新,來來去去不是亨利便是喬治,結果要加版本號辨認)剛剛丟了北美州這大片殖民地,氣得發瘋,於是跟今天的美國一樣,把精力轉移亞非。他派高檔外交家馬戛爾尼伯爵(名字也是喬治!)訪華,要求中國開放市場,最好搞個自貿協議之類。但當時的天朝和大英帝國正處國運循環的對立方位,無法溝通。英國剛擺脫了千多年的宗教枷鎖,啓了蒙,正處工業革命高潮,意氣風發,活力無窮。乾隆則是個快要死的老皇帝,對馬戛爾尼的建議,根本聽不進去。只想要這老外扣扣頭過過癮,然後送點禮物打發回國算數。「喬治先生,回去告訴你的喬治三號,咱天朝啥都有,不需要你們的小玩意。」 皇上說罷,倒頭便睡。

Friday, 11 September 2015

Giving American Citizenship to 300M Chinese is Win-Win

Xi and Obama should seriously discuss granting American citizenship to three hundred million Chinese. It would be a win-win-win solution to many problems.

The Chinese government, authoritarian and terrible according to Western corporate media and miscellaneous China-collapse Voodooists, has an approval rating approaching 80% from the Chinese people, according to reputable surveys such as PEW. Although an order of magnitude more popular than Democratic congresses hovering at single digit approval, it nonetheless means 300 million Chinese are unhappy with their government. That’s a big headache for the Communist Party (CCP). Furthermore, China being big, diverse, scattered and nervously on guard, CIA finds it difficult to fully develop this vast number of potential colour revolutionaries. A valuable human resource capable of causing great havoc is once again frustrated by CCP policies. It’s time that the international community, namely the USA, finds alternative means to get the most out of these disenfranchised Chinese.



根據國際民調機構(如 PEW)的報告,中國政府的民間支持率大概80%。如此高的民望,單數位的「民主國家」 望塵莫及。可惜中國太大。20%的人不滿,代表 3億之眾,不能說不是個大問題。而共產黨又處處刁難戒備,令中情局無法把這批不滿人士組織起來搞 「顏色革命」。看來美國是時候變通,好好利用這批被壓逼的中國人民。

Sunday, 30 August 2015

What Academic Freedom?


Hong Kong politicshas decomposed into a tiny repertoire of elemental clichés. Nonetheless, they can cause disproportional disruptions when deployed vociferously by ardent sloganeers with singular determination. By far the most overworked slogan is of course —  freedom and democracy. Its become licence to do practically anything without consequence. Well, freedom is pointless if fettered by legal constraints, isnt it? Other banners in the arsenal include, in order of perceived popularity, social justice; freedom of press/speech/expression, academic freedom, and a few other simplistic beauties.

Freedom and democracy, having worked overtime during Occupy Central, is taking a break. Academic freedom has taken centre stage, with the University of Hong Kong (HKU) as backdrop. 


香港目前的政治環境簡單得出奇,幾句過期口號可以完全描述。排頭的口號當然是佔中期間每天加班的 「民主自由」 啦。這是免死金牌,跟著喊可以愛啥幹啥,毫無後顧之憂。想落也合理。依然有法有天的話,要自由來幹嘛呢?其他熱門口號,根據熟悉程度排位,大概包括:公義!新聞和言論自由!還有最近紅極一時, 由港大招聘副校長的茶杯颶風引發的 「學術自由」。

長臭瘋話短說,港大正在物色負責人事和財務的副校長。不過副校長的直接上司 「首席副校長」 的職位,也正懸空。有人說稍有份量的學者,都不會上當打這份工。看來這說法不無道理。信不信由你,交給校委會蓋圖章的副校長人選,只有一人:法律系院長陳文敏先生是也。陳先生的背景的確有些非一般。當今的學術界,連教補鍋的也有博士學位。巴士的車身廣告大家有目共睹:綽號化學天王,物理奇葩等中學補習老師,都是博士,比港大副校長要求的學術地位更高,有文革特徵吧!陳先生大概因為沒有進修博士,沒有什麼學術研究可做,比較清閒,於是利用多餘時間幫手創立了「公民黨」。公民黨骨幹都是律師,靠耍法律搵食,所以對法律有種專業性鄙視,完全不放眼內。此外,陳先生身為法律系院長期間,手下戴耀庭先生亂用研究經費,在灣仔佔中環。雖然戴先生有 「民主自由」 免死金牌,最後大概也是不了了之,但身為他事頭的陳先生,有承擔的話,也難辭其責。

Tuesday, 11 August 2015



伙子終日無事,只懂網上閒聊,結果搭上狀棍流氓,繼而勾結花旗役畜,經常借勢取鬧,撒野尋釁。家長嬌寵已慣,那敢責難?大人忙於炒賣,亦無暇理會,便任其生滅。日久,童黨膽子越粗,開始招搖撞騙,欺壓老叟婦孺,還胸纏黃巾,自稱 「天經地義童民黨」,約期舉事。首領自號 「瘋人將軍」,身長五尺多少許,眼神痴瘋,面额無肉,鼻孔朝天,耳後見腮,唇若蜆肉,黃里透黑。見者或不禁失笑,或咬牙切齒,或搖頭嘆息。但瘋人小子得花旗高人傳授,舞得一手「馬桶棍」,能於一尺之內翻雲覆雨,臭氣熏天,被藩王班主吹捧為當今江湖十大高手之一。島民忌之,便任由坐大。

Monday, 3 August 2015

The Caucasus (3) Faces of Armenia & Azerbaijan 高加索掠影(3)阿塞拜疆與亞美尼亞的面

A capella singer in a stone chamber at Garni, Armenia
在亚美尼亚古迹 Garni 石室清唱圣诗的歌手


By mixing Armenian and Azerbaijani faces in this post, I’ve probably committed a capital offence in both countries. Animosity between the two neighbours goes way back to before WW1, for untraceable reasons which have long been distilled down to elemental hatred. For more than a century now, they’d kick and bite and scratch each other whenever a big guy isn’t around. The Ottoman, British, and Soviet empires had all played guardian here, and sowed new seeds for future conflict.

高加索掠影 The Caucasus (4) -格魯吉亞的面目 Faces of Georgia

Woman outside Church 教堂外的老婦

要瞭解格魯吉亞的處境,失業率是個好參數。蘇聯瓦解後,格魯吉亞獨立,失業率狂飆至85%,社會動蕩了二十多年。現在比較安定,失業率降了下來,仍然停留在65%的懸崖邊上。導遊指出,格魯吉亞人的傳統本領是務農和打仗。現在人口只有三百多萬,要把本事擴大,經濟多元化,談何容易?美國,北約和以色列於是把握機會,大發好心,在一個名為 「軍備培訓」 的資助計劃下,大力培養格魯吉亞人的戰爭天分。


Unemployment in Georgia is a good indicator of the disheartening situation. When first separated from the USSR in 1991, the newborn nation plunged promptly into chaos. Unemployment rocketed to 85%. Relative calmness has been restored, but unemployment still stands at an astounding 65%. Georgians, in the words of the tour guide, are traditionally farmers and warriors. With only 3.5 million of them, holding on to strong traditions, diversifying the economy is much easier dreamt than done. Israel, NATO and the USA are currently helping to develop one of two Georgian talents under an aid programme prosaically and ominously named Arm and Train.

Many Georgians look sad.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

The Caucasus (1) — A Brief Intro 高加索掠影(1)-文明摇篮的面貌

Azerbaijan 阿塞拜疆

A few months ago, I was still misspelling Caucasus as “Caucuses”. Now that I’ve visited Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia for 18 days, less travel time, I have learnt a few trivia about the Southern Caucasus, and formed some superficial impressions of my own.
老實說,幾個月前,我連高加索是哪個「索」字也搞不清。但花了18天時間參觀南高三國 -- 阿塞拜疆,亞美尼亞,格魯吉亞 --之後,除了知道了一點點他們的歷史文化和風土人情外,也對這歐亞要塞多了幾分模糊印象和片面看法。
Tsminda Sameba Church against Kazbegi 格魯吉亞著名的卡茲別吉風貌

The Caucasus (2) — Religion 高加索掠影(2)-宗教

We are supposed to be tolerant of religion no matter how absurd it is; but religions have not been very tolerant of others. Throughout the Caucasus, there’s nearly nothing left of its pre-Christian glories; they have been brutally destroyed or craftily painted over by organised religions long ago. All that’s left from five millennia of Caucasian civilisation are churches, cathedrals, monasteries, and memories of savage conflicts incited by gods. In less than three weeks, I saw a lifetime’s worth of crosses and churches and monasteries. I suspect there are more crucifixes and monasteries in Armenia and Georgia than in Heaven itself. 

Pilgrims at Geghard Cave Monastery, Armenia
亞美尼亞 Geghard 山洞修院的朝聖信徒

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Movie Review: September 11, the New Pearl Harbour

September 11, the New Pearl Harbor, a five-hour documentary by Massimo Mazzucco, surprises even a reasonably informed “Conspiracy Theorist” like myself. It's an eye-opening tour of the glaringly questionable tragedy. Mazzucco packs a prodigious amount of irrefutable information into three DVDs without sacrificing clarity, objectivity, or “entertainment values”. Issues are explained in lay terms before queries are raised. Prominent Debunkers — defenders of the official story — then answer or “debunk” these queries. The audience is then left to make his own judgement.
We all like to bemoan mass ignorance, though social stupidity isn’t all bad from a personal standpoint. Contrary to popular belief, humans are actually rather dumb. Nevertheless, intelligence is relative. Having correctly noticed collective dumbness means having seen something with better clarity, or a step ahead of others. Hey, that’s potential competitive advantage, even undeserved profits to the individual — something to be secretly happy about right?

There are exceptions though. The mass gullibility about 911 is unsettling and ominous, like being locked up with a roomful of blind and gung-ho idiots. 911 is a blatant atrocity of historic proportion and consequence, but ironically also the most clearly documented to those who care to look. Yet few would bother. Is it in fact mass connivance with an innocent look, rather than wholesale ignorance of ming-boggling proportion then? More likely, it’s simply too disturbing, even frightening, to look; so everyone turns his head the other way. Life goes on.

影評:911 - 重演珍珠港

Massimo Mazzucco 的紀錄片 September 11, the New Pearl Harbor,收集了大量各方面的證據,足以錄滿三隻 DVD,連播五個小時而毫無冷場。片中把每一個技術論點都以淺易的方法清楚介紹後,才發出疑問。而每一個疑問之後,都播放了各 「官方代言人」 的駁斥,讓觀眾自己作出判斷。
雖然大家都喜歡埋冤 「大眾愚昧」, 但大眾的愚昧其實對個人來說並非壞事。能夠正確洞察到大眾愚昧,等於自己相對聰明,競爭能力相對提升,「搵食」也容易了。不勞而獲或者少勞多得的機會增加了,心底應該暗暗高興才是!不過凡事都有例外。大眾對十五年前 911事件的愚昧,再繼續下去的話,後果會越來越嚴重,不止搞出阿拉伯人命那麼簡單。

Saturday, 27 June 2015

A New EurAsian Century?

While stock markets climb relentlessly, humanity sits blithely at the brink of self-destruction through military conflicts and environmental devastation. But being only at the brink also means we may still be able to avoid it. I believe a key hope depends on how successful Eurasia manages to restore a world order which belongs to the world, not just one or two bullies. Unthinkable? Not according to history.
For years, the Western media have been hyperventilating between China’s “imminent collapse by five in the afternoon” and a looming “Chinese Century”. Entertaining only extreme outcomes, however, they have overlooked a highly probable scenario outside their thinking box — a multi-polar world evolving around a Eurasian axis.  This is a scenario which dominated most of human history until very recently — the last century or two.


這個歌舞昇平,股票飆升的世界,其實十分危險。一下擦槍走火,隨時要承受人類史上最嚴重的災難。不過有危便有機。我相信化解目前危機的一個現實希望,是歐亞攜手創造一個真正屬於大多數人的世界新秩序,擺脫單靠槍桿子打造一言堂的所謂 「世界秩序」。難以想象?但幾千年來,這世界絕大部分時候都由歐亞主導,並非什麼新噱頭。
西方的 「自由傳媒」 散播中國威脅論多年,已成耳邊之風。它們這分鐘預測中國會於今天下午收工前崩潰,另一分鐘估計中國即將取代美國;二十一世紀會是 「中國世紀」 云云。這兩個極端的預測都很刺激,戲劇性豐富,迎合市場口味,卻忽略了最有可能發生,也最應該發生的 「歐亞新秩序」。

Sunday, 7 June 2015

小说 “笙歌” 第五章 之(8)“挖洞型经济(下篇)”




老馬故意把當年如何按照規則,跟足程序,把項目引進死胡同兜圈的 “業績” 說得眉飛色舞,旨在刺激尊信。尊信果然面色起了反應,越來越紅潤。你這種行為,跟跟跟。。。偷有甚麼分別他終於忍不住要打斷老馬。

Wednesday, 3 June 2015




「中國人」 對付外族侵略很有經驗,所以很實際,處下風陷絕境之時,不會包條頭巾做 「神風死士」,或剖腹放腸餵野狗。那麼暫時容忍,甚至服從侵略者,是否等於「投降」呢?從歷史的角度看,倒要放長雙眼!蒙古當時是「外族」,打敗了中國,幾百年後變成「中國的少數民族」,在五星旗上一顆小星。與蒙古人一般凶悍,但文化修養較佳的女真人,亦復如是。滿清皇帝最後漢語比自已的母語強。日本人上次給跑掉了,是緣分,否則也是同樣下場,三百年後要受中央政府特別保護,穿和服跳舞娛樂遊客。可惜日本自投羅網的機會可能已經難逢了。。。

Monday, 1 June 2015

小说 “笙歌” 第五章 之(7)“挖洞型经济(中篇)”




工作的看法,他跟尊信可以說各走極端。馬依力認為大部分 文明社會的所謂工作,都是些可幹可不幹的雜務。人太多,吃不飽固然麻煩,吃飽了無所事事,會更麻煩。幸好有事業作藉口,讓人們視為目標,努力奮鬥。在跑狗場的電兔,雖然無骨無肉無味道無營養,卻能替狗群提供目標和方向,以免四處亂跑。對人群來說,工作就有如電兔,可以製造幻覺,維持社會秩序。

Monday, 25 May 2015

小说 “笙歌” 第五章 之(6)“挖洞型经济(上篇)”



他辦公的地方租金高昂,一般冒正業的公司都負擔不來。辦公室離中環 皇后碼頭不遠。尊信憑著高大身材和戰場經驗,在人潮中穿插推撞,走路也不過幾分鐘路程。沒有公費午餐吃的日子,尊信喜歡到碼頭吃簡便三明治。他是個有規律有習慣的人,每次都喜歡坐在同一個纜柱,一邊吃一邊看路人急步追趕著下一個人生目標。頻繁的海上交通也在背後跟時間競賽,興波作浪,活力十足。
碼頭下偶爾一堆像是滋生出來的蝦毛魚苗,在污濁的水流中掙扎,拼命向前。附近的大魚早已絕跡多年,小魚不似在逃命。它們的努力似乎不外本能的驅使,並無目標或原因。更奇怪的是這裡不乏釣魚人士;尊信的纜柱間中會被他們 霸佔,令他有點不爽之外,也很好奇。他們究竟在釣甚麼呢?這裡的魚蝦,一般體積比魚鈎還細,就算自動獻身也不夠資格上釣。但這些漁翁一幅悠然之態,看上去又不似有神經病,難道這是東方神秘學的一種?或許都是禪宗高人?或喬裝特務?他手執一分三明治,身旁一罐零熱量飲品,發著白日夢自娛。

Sunday, 17 May 2015

小說 “笙歌” 第五章 之(5)“上帝這回事(下篇)”






Friday, 17 April 2015

Fake Eggs of China

Remember them fake eggs from China? I do. The crisis was indirectly responsible for the blindness and cerebral seizure of many innocent Hongkongers. For a number of years, it even promised to bankrupt me. How could I forget? 

It must have been five to six years ago. I was lunching with a table of Hong Kong friends in the mainland. Someone brought up the subject of fake eggs when supposedly real ones, suspiciously scrambled beyond recognition, were being served. To my surprise, nearly everyone had something to add to the story. Fake eggs were evidently more common than I had thought. 
“Has anyone seen one?” I enquired, tortured by curiosity. 
“Oh yes, many have!” one said, sure as eggs were not eggs, though she had not seen one personally.
“My auntie has! There’re dozens on YouTube! Everyone trusts my auntie.”
“My second cousin’s wife’s father-in-law swallowed one, soft boiled, and died three months later.”
“Your second cousin’s father?” Dumbfounded, I closed my eyes and drew exfoliating breaths of filtered indoor air to safeguard my own version of reality. I had learnt that trick from a guru on YouTube, long before it existed.
Visions started coming to me, in rainbow coloured slides, like Powerpoint. 



我四姑婆就見過!在 YouTube 上都是教人做假蛋的視頻!你沒看過?

Sunday, 22 March 2015

小說 “笙歌” 第四章 之(二)“出走”

第四章  之(二)


Saturday, 14 March 2015

Being Defensive About China

I can’t help being unfashionably “defensive” when it comes to the daily barrage of China bashing tirades. Why? Because I see the smokes of a “propaganda invasion” everywhere. Perhaps it’s just my paranoia? So what if it is. They said China was paranoid in kicking out Google and Facebook, and continue to say so with a straight face even after Edward Snowden so, there you go. Plus paranoia would be an affordable price, given the abominable examples in the Middle-East, Africa, and Eastern Europe.



他們說的沒錯,因為我清楚見到國際上的宣傳炮彈亂飛,造成遍地白痴,甚至國破家亡。當然有人會說這不過是我神經過敏。就由他說吧。當初中國把谷歌和 Facebook(臉書)踢走,也被很多人罵神經過敏,思想落後。直到斯洛登大爆內幕後,部分人仍然死不肯改變看法。面對盲目偏見,唯有嬉笑怒罵,或一笑置之。再環顧全球,神經不過敏的後果由中東到非洲到東歐,比比皆是。看來一個國家的神經系統,還是寧敏莫鈍較為保險。