‘My secretary does it’: Billionaire son, youth policy adviser tired of ‘attacks on status,’ totally knows how to use Octopus card

Lau Ming-wai, roundly mocked by netizens a few months back for illustrating the importance of savings by explaining his wise investment of the HK$100,000 (US$12,800) in cash he received for his 10th birthday, has stepped in it yet again.

The Youth Development Council (YDC) vice chairman and son of Hong Kong billionaire/convicted felon Joseph Lau on Friday accused the city’s youth of engaging in an “attack on status” after being forced to admit he doesn’t know the minimum top-up amount for an Octopus card.

In the final few minutes of a Q&A session on RTHK radio program The Young Politician, a teen named Ocean asked Lau if he knew the minimum amount you can add to an Octopus card (it’s here at about the 52-minute mark).

The query (shades of the famous “gallon of milk” question once tossed at former US President George HW Bush) was clearly meant to call into question whether or not YDC members can represent normal young folk given that most come from wealthy families.

Earlier in the program, another teen had cheekily pointed out that “not everyone gets HK$100,000 for their birthday.”

But the banality of such day-to-day exercises are irrelevant to his duties, Lau insisted.

“Whether or not I know how to use an Octopus card, how does that affect the youth-related work I do?” a defensive Lau asked.

He then explained that while his secretary tops up his Octopus card for him, he totally uses the MTR, then accused the teen of attacking his status.

“I don’t care if you want to attack my status, I don’t care for the strategy of others attacking me. I will do my duty and listen to the concerns of young people,” Lau said.

Some commenters called out Lau for failing to acknowledge that even though he may have an interest in youth-related issues, he still won the lottery of life by being born to one of Hong Kong’s richest people.

“How can Lau understand the financial struggles that normal people face when he’s rich and is telling people how they should spend their money?” asked one person, alluding to a previous comment that young people shouldn’t spend money on going to the cinema if they want to get their foot on the property ladder.

Another commented “he’s just like Carrie Lam,” referring to an incident during the 2017 chief executive elections campaign, when Lam attempted to show off her “just regular folk” credentials by trying (and failing) to navigate a ticket turnstile at an MTR station after swiping her Octopus card.

For those wondering, the minimum top-up amount is HK$50.

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