Hong Kong Sevens 2015 – Public Ticket Sale Ballot Opens on 1 November

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The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) today announced that online registration for the public ballot draw will begin on Saturday, 1 November, 2014. Once again the 3,000 remaining event tickets for the public sale will be distributed on a daily basis, creating 9,000 opportunities for participants in the ballot to be successful. Ticket prices for the 27-29 March 2015 tournament have gone up to $1,800 for a three day pass.

The new Adult daily ticket prices in the public ballot will be set at $300 for Friday and $750 for Saturday and Sunday respectively. Children’s tickets remain at $150.

The registration period for the public ballot draw will begin at 9.00am on Saturday, 1 November 2014 and will close on Saturday, 31 January 2015. The draw will be held on 4 February 2015.

IMPORTANT NOTE – a separate ballot will be held for each day of the tournament! So again the chances of getting tickets for both Saturday and Sunday in the ballot is remote

Each applicant for the public ballot can apply for a maximum of two tickets per day in any combination of one adult, two adults or one adult and one child ticket packages.

Register at ballot.hksevens.com

Ballot enquiries at ballot@hksevens.com

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Having CY as Patron…

An Apple Daily reporter enquired about bc’s non-coverage of the Hong Kong String Orchestra concert because CY Leung was their patron – here’s his questions and my not so eloquent answers.

1. Did HKSO respond to bc’s open letter? If they did, what did they say in their response?
No, the Hong Kong String Orchestra (HKSO) has not responded. But just to be clear, I think the HKSO is a wonderful orchestra – our choosing not to report abut them is solely related to the HKSO’s Honorary Patrons comments.

One person emailed us 2 days ago to voice her criticism of our stance. I asked her to post her objections about bc’s position to our website or on facebook. She’s has yet to do so.

2. It was stated in the letter that bc cannot write about HKSO while CY Leung remains as patron of HKSO. CY Leung however is patron for almost 100 different groups and organizations. Will bc extend the boycott to other organizations in which CY is patron or chairperson?
Just as bc magazine has not written about restaurants who sell sharks fin for the last 15 years, bc magazine will not be covering, promoting, writing about or accepting advertising from companies or organizations that CY Leung is a patron of.

Some people may think this unfairly punishes the organisations – but they chose to have CY as their patron for the money and prestige it would bring them. And many have done very well financially from their association with him.

They won’t complain – but should – when he opens his mouth and insults and demeans hard working Hongkongers – who are probably their own customers and employees.

3. Does bc worry that this public statement that criticize the CE would undermine bc’s advertising revenue or bring about political pressure?
Not everyone can get paid $50million for doing nothing. The Chief Executive’s comments were insulting and demeaning to all those Hongkongers who work hard long hours – yet earn less than $14,000/month. The ‘poor’ and working class that CY wants to disenfranchise are the heart of Hong Kong – their work powers the city, their spending goes mostly into local business, they are Hong Kong.

There are also a few questions for you personally:

4. How long have you been in Hong Kong and what brought you here?
22 years

5. bc has followed the Umbrella Movement quite closely. What are your views on the movement?
bc magazine covers the Umbrella Movement by reporting what we see happening – interviewing those involved and reporting what say.

From a personal point of view, I think those who ‘govern’ us have not done the best job in recent years. There’s many reasons for that, mostly self-interest and incompetence, and it runs across all levels and political parties. But greed, stupidity and looking after no1 are hardly unique to HK politicians.

I don’t know if the Umbrella Movement will achieve all its aims – but it’s achievements so far will have a profound impact on Hong Kong. The calls for universal suffrage are placing the dissatisfaction of so many front and centre and demanding that Legco and the CE look out for the interests of all Hongkongers not just the rich. This after all is why they were elected and took an obligation to do and all of them have failed. The failure is theirs, and holding them to account for their failures and personal greed is our responsibility.

6. CY Leung has misspoken in more than one occasion recently, and his integrity has been questioned ever since he was selected. Do you think he is fit for the position of CE?
By his words and actions, my confidence in CY as CE is non-existent. But who would be an improvement? We are stuck with him, until Beijing decides otherwise – until that day arrives we can only hope he learns and improves.

7. You founded bc in 1994 and have witnessed the change of Hong Kong since then. Do you think Hong Kong has become a better or a worse place in the past 20 years?
Hong Kong has changed a lot, but it’s still the world’s greatest city and there’s still no better place to live. No other city / country could have hundreds of thousands of people holding a peaceful protest, with not a window broken. A protest where people look out for others ahead of themselves, pick up the rubbish and recycle unasked. Where seeing someone in need they offer to help not ignore… Beneath the concrete, it’s her people who make HK unique and a wonderful place to call home.

No idea if or when it will be published.

If you think CY Leung’s comments disenfranchising large numbers of Hongkongers purely on their salary is (looking for a polite word here) insulting. Then vote with your wallet, and avoid those businesses / organisations where CY is a patron.

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Editorial: Hong Kong Island Traffic Congestion

An ongoing theme at the daily police press conferences is of the Umbrella Movement causing traffic chaos. Road traffic on Hong Kong Island has been a veritable mess from long before the Umbrella Movement started. A prime cause is the police’s failure to enforce Hong Kong road traffic laws, and with drivers knowing the police aren’t going to ticket them they flout the law with impunity.

How often have you seen vehicles entering road junctions when they know they can’t get out the other side – and so blocking all traffic, leading to excessive use of horns to the annoyance of residents and all around. Not to mention bus drivers stopping diagonally across two or three lanes completely blocking a road for several minutes.

If the police started to enforce the exiting road traffic laws, issued tickets – with meaningful fines. Then, very quickly drivers would start remembering the rules of the road, and traffic would flow more smoothly and the roads would be a lot quieter.

An example from today just before noon – the junction of Hennessy and Luard Roads where a car, a van and an empty taxi on Hennessy Road heading towards Central decided to block the junction and stop vehicles on Luard Road moving when the light turned green. There were police on the far corner who did nothing. Yellow box junctions, a favourite choke point – yet even with motor-cycle cops stationed there during busy periods for traffic management. Buses and cars enter the yellow box with no chance of exiting… and the police sit idly bye.

Mr police commissioner, the street protests may be causing some inconvenience to road users but the police’s failure to enforce the traffic laws has been causing far more congestion across the SAR’s roads for many years.

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Umbrella Ultra Marathon Images – 29 October, 2014

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To emphasise that the road to universal suffrage is a long one with many challenges, two of HK’s top ultra runners John Ellis and Andrew Dawson and hundred of others joined together to run 110km around Hong Kong. Using GPS technology they mapped out a route to draw an Umbrella across all of HK. No road is too long and no mountain is too high when on the path to human dignity and respect for all citizens.

John Ellis summed up the run this way “So much positive energy all day, and new friends who have offered massive encouragement all day. Thank you Hong Kong – this spontaneous eruption of support for us, but more importantly, for the protestors in Admiralty, MK and CWB, and what they represent, has been truly humbling.”

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There’s a lovely clip of the runners accompanied by a bagpiper here

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10371428_995004507181634_8448626001245264696_n 10711065_10154765992490032_922024304751065361_nClick on the images to see more, not all photos bc magazine – others copyright of the original owners

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Umbrella Movement Images: One Month – 28 October, 2014

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One month after police fired 87 rounds of tear gas at peaceful protestors across Hong Kong, all across the territory Hongkongers, at the exact moment the first round was fired, opened umbrellas for 87 seconds to decry the use of violence by the police.

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Click on the photos to see more

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