The Week Ahead December 1st

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In like a lion, out like a filibuster. While the week started off dramatically, it will be back to the usual by the end of the week, with some projects with potential to move ahead.

Monday

Over night strife sees morning meetings canceled: Panel on Housing, Public Accounts Committee, Bills Committee on Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2014 and Panel on Financial Affairs.

KC’s European Tour: KC Chan talks finance in London, Paris and Brussels

Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Professor K C Chan leaves for Paris today for a week-long visit in Paris, London and Brussels. He will discuss the internationalisation of RMB and the launch of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect with government officials and financial regulators, such as the Board Chairman of Autorité des Marchés Financiers (Authority of Financial Markets), Mr Gérard Rameix; the Chairman of the European Securities and Market Authority, Mr Steven Maijoor; the Governor of the General Council of Banque de France (Bank of France), Mr Christian Noyer; the European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, Mr Jonathan Hill; the Economic Secretary to HM Treasury, Mrs Andrea Leadsom; the Chairperson of the European Banking Authority, Mr Andrea Enria; the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Mr Alan Yarrow; and the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Jon Cunliffe.

Tuesday

Waiting for the Big One: Reaction to nuclear incidents in HK

At the LegCo Panel on Security, there will be a discussion on the contigency plan for nuclear incidents near Hong Kong. Government document shows that after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in Japan in March 2011, there has been a review of Daya Bay Contingency Plan which covered the application, the latest international nuclear safety standards and contingency measures, the notification mechanism for nuclear incidents, radiation monitoring assessment in Hong Kong, contingency preparations, and measures and actions to be taken upon activation of the contingency plan.

Daya Bay Contingency Plan exercise, codenamed “Exercise Checkerboard”, was conducted on two consecutive days from 26 to 27 April 2012 to test out the revised Plan. It was the largest exercise that the Government had ever held, mobilising over 3,200 officers from more than 30 government bureaux and departments. Over 2,000 citizens and volunteers and the Hong Kong Nuclear Investment Limited also joined as players.

Sneaking in the Back Door: Late application of pro-establishment to PWSC

A special meeting of Public Works Subcommittee will discuss the second time on the late membership of twelve pro-establishment members. They are: Paul Tse, Ng Leung-sing, Yiu Si-wing, Andrew Leung (BPA), Christopher Cheung (BPA), Jeffrey Lam (BPA), Wong Ting-kwong (DAB), Starry Lee (DAB), Steven Ho (DAB), Wong Kwok-kin (FTU), Tang Ka-piu (FTU) and Kwok Wai-keung (FTU). Pro-est not optimistic. Last time couldn’t even be bothered to show up and excuse for why they missed the first deadline was a legislative equivalent of “the dog ate my homework”.

Wednesday

Rise of the populists

At the Council meeting, Sex Discrimination (Amendment) Bill 2014 will resume second and third reading. The Bill is to protect service providers from sexual harassment by their customers.

Members will then discuss Gary Fan’s motion to urge the Government to “proactively handle China-Hong Kong conflicts, and to adhere to the need to ‘put Hong Kong people first’ in formulating policies.” Mr Fan put forward ten policies on immigration, education, economic development and welfare. (More information here). The polices serve as a neatly packaged grab bag of HK’s anti-mainland (immigration, labour, language, education, dependence on water) populist measures with a soupcon of more welfare thrown in for flavour.

Not Establishing the pro-establishment in Establishment

At the meeting of Establishment Subcommittee, members will discuss the late membership of eighteen pro-establishment members. They are: Chan Kam-lam (DAB), Tam Yiu-chung (DAB), Ip Kwok-him (DAB), Chan Hak-kan (DAB), Chan Han-pan (DAB), Leung Che-cheung (DAB), Elizabeth Quat (DAB), Ann Chiang (DAB), Christopher Chung (DAB), Alice Mak (FTU), Wong Kwok-hing (FTU), Andrew Leung (BPA), Priscilla Leung (BPA), Lo Wai-kwok (BPA), Chan Kin-por, Paul Tse, Frankie Yick (Liberal Party) and Tony Tse. For more insights, read HT’s story – The “Pearl Harbor of LegCo” and 工務人事兩小組 泛民掌控建制憂慮 . Unlikely to see pan-Dems give up control of Establishment. Why would they?

Friday

OC trio to surrender
Speculations from weeks ago that Benny Tai, Chan Kin-man and Reverend Chu Yiu-ming may surrender themselves to the Police on December 5th. The Occupy Central with Love and Peace may also cease running after the leaders surrender. Police may not have time for them, frankly.

$2.96 billion in construction proposals
Last week was a blow to the Government with two of their construction proposals ($8.72 billions for Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point works and $100.5m for the planning and engineering study on Sunny Bay reclamation) being adjourned. Other two were spared, one proposal was approved and one was under discussion. The meeting this Friday will continue discussing the proposal to fund the construction of Kowloon East Regional Headquarters and Operational Base-cum-Ngau Tau Kok Divisional Police Station with an estimated cost of $2.96 billions.

Closing on the landfill filibuster
Pan-democrats have filed 500 amendments (only!) to stall the landfill extension proposals and the construction of an incinerator. Around 100 of them were handled and voted down last Friday. More amendments might come. However, given the Ma On Shan Sewerage and Road Works passed PWSC, it should come up some time soon.

Background information:
$2 billion for the extension of the Southeast New Territories Landfill in Tseung Kwan O.
$7.3 billion for the extension of the Northeast New Territories Landfill in Ta Kwu Ling.
$36.8m for the consultants’ fees and investigations to study the extension of the West New Territories Landfill in Tuen Mun.
$18.2 billion for the reclamation of about 16 hectares to form an artificial island near Shek Kwu Chau and to build an incinerator on it.