He is a man of few words, but his power to look into the future has just earned him a Gold Bauhinia Star.
Master Choi Park-lai is a widely revered feng shui expert, and many people, including politicians and tycoons, hang on to his every word.
For 2016, he predicts a “quiet” year, although the start would be a bit fitful. He also said there will be a significant turn of events in 2017.
Does that mean we will have a new Chief Executive?
As a diviner, the 90-year-old Master Choi is unequalled. Early this year, we wrote three predictions and, up to this point at least, he has been accurate about seeing a peaceful year, a falling property market and a generally bountiful year for Hong Kong.
In hindsight, though, such predictions are not hard to make, although we would have hoped he had told us about a volatile stock market – a two-month bull market followed by a two-month collapse – an extremely rare phenomenon in Hong Kong.
But that should not diminish his reputation, and he could not have been more accurate when he compared Hong Kong to a patient straight out of surgery who needs time to heal.
The same thing can be said about 2016, which he sees as relatively uneventful in politics and economy, despite the non-stop bickerings.
But he adds a note of warning to his otherwise unremarkable forecast: Beware of January and February 2016.
For the first time in 200 years, the first day of 2016, the first day of the Lunar New Year and the first day of spring will all be unlucky days, he says.
Keeping his warning in mind, we remember that the Chief Executive’s policy address will be delivered around that period.
We also hope there will be no mega restructuring move such as that of CK Hutchison Holdings (00001.HK), which happened in January this year.
No matter, the unlucky start will have little impact on the generally peaceful atmosphere for the whole year, he says, despite the political controversies that will continue throughout the year.
Master Choi also says next year’s autumn, which will mark the opening of the new Legislative Council, could be a most controversial period.
“There will be construction after destruction,” he says. “By the year-end, all parties will know there is no benefit to anyone and that’s the time when livelihood will come into the picture.
“2016 is a peaceful year for change, and there will be a new development in 2017.”
Earlier this year, we noted that Master Choi, who is a third-generation descendant of a family that has been specializing in the astronomical calendar for 120 years, is also a good psychologist.
He knows how to make people happy by making them believe what they want to believe.
This time, we also would like to say that he is a sensible political analyst.
Someone at the Government House should hire him as an adviser to steer clear of misfortunes in the next couple of years.
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