Thursday 14 February 2013

Further Fiddlesticks and Forked Tongues At Work

Snakes Alive! What does it take to become a Fung Shui master? An ability to fiddle with sticks and stones and words?

Why does the Heung Yee Kuk chairman always have to pick the stick? What special quality does he, er, possess?

Why not ask self-styled Fung Shui master Tony Chan? He'll probably charge an arm and a leg, but then again he is in need of some dough.

Fung Shui is just a scam and a Chinese version of Hocus Pocus


Taoist omen warns Hongkongers to beware of 'wicked people' (SCMP; paywall)

Fortune-tellers interpret unlucky 95 as meaning CY's policies may fail and he may face turmoil
Tuesday, 12 February, 2013, 12:00am

Ada Lee

Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat. Pic Felix Wong

Hongkongers were warned they faced "wicked people" and obstacles in the Year of the Snake, after one of the unluckiest possible omens was drawn in a Taoist ceremony yesterday.

A stick bearing the number 95 was drawn by Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat at Sha Tin's Che Kung Temple in the annual ritual. The prediction for stick 95 says: "In a splendid carriage you embarked on your journey. Today, you came home barefoot. Is it that you failed the imperial exam? Or did you lose all your gold in business?"

It reminds Hongkongers to "beware of wicked people", and says "nothing is going well".

Mak Ling-ling, one of the most famous fung shui masters in the city, said the stick could be saying the policies put forward by the government could fail although they sounded glamorous in the beginning.

"It could mean the government's strategy was not right. It might be confident, but there are obstacles," she said. She did not think "wicked people" was a specific reference.

This is the third bad-luck stick to be selected in a decade; following one in 2003, when Hong Kong was hit by the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak, and another in 2009, when it was hit by the global financial turmoil.

Chu Ling-ling, a fortune-teller at the temple, said the stick meant uncertainties would trouble the economy. The horse carriage in the verse was a reference to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who was born in the Year of the Horse, she said.

There would be political turmoil, and although Leung would not fare too badly in the first half of the year, he could face trouble towards its end. "Leung needs to change his way of doing things. He should refrain from being too tough, and he needs to rebuild his credibility, so people will trust him again," she said.

Lau tried to put a positive spin on it, saying: "Hong Kong will continue to be prosperous and stable ... An unlucky stick could be good, too."

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's first Year of the Snake baby, a girl, arrived at Union Hospital in Sha Tin at 0.17am on Sunday.

Good fortune awaits as the Snake slithers in (SCMP; paywall)
Saturday, 09 February, 2013, 12:00am

Phila Siu and Ng Kang-chung

Fung Shui master Mak Ling-ling. Pic David Wong

Chill out Hongkongers, the economy in the Year of the Snake will be better than it was last year.

That is the verdict of fung shui masters as the city bids farewell to the dragon and greets the snake tomorrow morning.

The fung shui masters differ in their forecasts of what lies ahead for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and the government.

"The economy will be better than last year, although it will still not be very bustling," master Mak Ling-ling said. "But for C.Y., his Chinese zodiac sign is the horse, and that is not a good thing in the Year of the Snake. In Chinese we have a saying that the snake winds around the legs of the horse when the horse tries to move."

Master Ma Lai-wah forecast the economy would continue to grow but cautioned that people would not have more money in their pockets until August.

The key is to invest in exports and avoid speculation in property, as prices will rise and fall about 10 per cent several times, he predicted. "And be ready for more disharmony between Hongkongers and mainlanders, because the cultural differences will get deeper."

Ma said Leung had the characteristics of an eagle, which do not get along well with snakes.

But Raymond Lo, popularly known as "Fung Shui Lo", predicted an easier year ahead for Leung. "The Year of the Snake is symbolised this year by water sitting on top of fire," Lo said. "The animal sign for horse does not directly clash with the snake. So it will be a comparatively more stable year for Mr Leung.

"For people born in the Year of the Horse, a snake year brings the flower of romance, so they can expect a more sociable year. In short, Mr Leung will still face challenges but he will remain OK."

As for Hong Kong's economy, Lo said the fire symbol attached to a year often generated optimism, and the economy should turn more stable compared with the dragon year.

"Banking is [associated with the element of] metal and it needs fire to melt it into useful tools. And finance and stock market are more related to fire," he said. "We may expect improvements in the economy."

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