Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Money Solves Most Problems... Or Does It?

Ah the life of the rich in Hong Kong.

Last night a friend told me that he drove to a club for lunch and parked the car in the parking lot. And then a car approached the spot next to him -- scratching his car along the way with a horrible sound.

The elderly driver thought nothing of the noise nor felt that he'd sideswiped my friend's car and walked away.

So my friend followed after him and said, "Excuse me sir, but can you see what you did to my car?"

At first he didn't hear my friend who had to call out again to get his attention.

Then the elderly man walked back to the car and looked at the scratch. He remarked hadn't heard anything, but nonchalantly passed on his business card and told my friend to bill him for the repairs and walked off.

The man seems to lack any kind of remorse -- or maybe he does this all the time and doesn't want to admit he shouldn't be driving?

Today in the news is another but more amusing car story involving another wealthy family.

A 16-year-old took his father's company car out for a joyride only to crash it into a parked taxi in Pokfulam.

While the accident was serious, it's surprising to discover Fahim Khan committed the offense and pleaded guilty in court last week -- all without his family's knowledge.

It was only when he was due to be sentenced did his family's lawyers appear and ask for a postponement of the sentencing to have more time to submit evidence.

His new defense lawyer, veteran barrister Andrew Bruce said, "He's 16. Do you remember when you were 16?... He was feeling depressed [and] in love with a girl who lives in another country, and he did a really stupid thing."

Khan's father, Ikram Khan is founder and managing director of the Shun Shing Group, an international trading and investment company with offices in China, Southeast Asia and India.

Fahim is a student at West Island School and at his first hearing last Thursday he was represented by a duty lawyer he had found through the government's Free Legal Advice Scheme.

He didn't tell his family that he was standing trial and pleaded guilty to charges of careless driving, taking a car without authority and driving without a license or third-party insurance.

But at his second hearing yesterday, Fahim had his family's lawyers with him and the magistrate rescheduled the sentencing hearing to November 19 and ordered psychiatric and probation reports.

He also extended Fahim's bail, adding that the defendant could not drive any vehicle during that period.

"I might ask for a community service report or a background report [but] I am prepared to explore other sentencing options," the magistrate said.

Another lawyer who spoke on behalf of the family said, "It is unfortunate that we were brought in at this late stage."

Wouldn't we all love to be a fly on the wall to overhear when Fahim finally fessed up to his parents?

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