HIGH TIDE (MARCH 19TH 2015) – DAILY POLITICAL ROUND-UP

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Legislation on working hours endorsed; Filibustering expected in Budget debate; Canadian CG on CDNIS row. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


 

Politics (Government &LegCo)
 
Legislation on working hours “a consensus”, says committee.
– The Standard Working Hours Committee held its 11th meeting in which members agreed on legislating for working hours regulation
– Chairman Leong Che-hung said the Committee has reached a consensus over the issue, but stated that there won’t be a set length for all sectors
– Labour Party’s Lee Cheuk-yan questioned the effects of the legislation, saying that it is the same as legalising extra-working hours

LegCo approves HKD81.6bn Account Resolution.
– Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury KC Chan moved a Vote on Account Resolution in the LegCo to ask for a funding of HKD81.58bn to sustain the Government’s operational requirements, including education, social welfare, healthcare and security, for two months
– Chan stated that the amount represents 23% of the total appropriation under the pending Appropriation Bill 2015 
– The LegCo approved the Resolution by 44 to 5, but Pan-dems including Raymond Chan and Albert Chan have vowed to filibuster during the LegCo’s debate on the Budget

New Chairman for the Directorate Committee.
– The Government has appointed Pang Yiu-kai to head the Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service for a term of two years from 1st April
– The Directorate Committee is responsible for advising the Government on matters relating to the structure, pay and conditions of service of the directorate ranks in the civil service

HT’s LegCo round-up for Monday and Tuesday – two long days in one summary.

Diplomat

Canadian CG urges “openness” as CDNIS row continues.
– Canadian consul-general Mr Ian Burchett attended an off-campus meeting with 600 parents and teachers of the CDNIS, calling for “openness” and “freedom of expression” in solving the dispute
– It was believed that Mr Burchett and his representative in the school board had not been consulted when the board published a message expressing disappointment over a survey circulated “with the intent of discrediting the head of school and staff’s confidence in his leadership”

Politics (general)

Former Gov’t heads slam third runway decision.
– Former Hong Kong Observatory Director Lam Chiu-ying said the airspace in the Pearl River Delta is already too congested for a third runway to be cost-efficient
– Former directors of Civil Aviation Department Lam Kwong-yu and Peter Lok also questioned the accountability of the air-traffic agreement between Hong Kong, Macau and the mainland
– Lok said “it [Shenzhen] has three runways, and Hong Kong will also have three runways; both are rivals and you cannot assume that Hong Kong can get the airspace and commence the work now. The risk is too high.”