HIGH TIDE (MARCH 25TH 2015) – DAILY POLITICAL ROUND-UP

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CY Leung hints running for second term; Ombudsman slams Education Bureau; Highway director apologises for delay. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


 

Politics (Government &LegCo)

CY Leung hints he may seek second term.
– Speaking before an Exco meeting, CY Leung said he would not rule out running for office for the second term – his strongest hints ever
– DAB’s Tam Yiu-chung said the call can make Leung “well positioned (in Chinese)”
– Leung meanwhile rejected TV debate on reform, saying that it would not bring any effect as long as the fundamental disagreements between the Government and Pan-dems over civic nomination exist
– Leung also urged third runway unity and noted that Beijing is supportive of the city’s airport and aviation industry development
– Leung met with the visiting Mayor of Guangzhou Chen Jianhua, stressing economic cooperation between the two places

Ombudsman Blasts Education Bureau on teachers’ information and students’ loans.
– The Office of the Ombudsman conducted two investigations into the authorities’ procedures for approval of student loan (bilingual) applications and non-disclosure (bilingual) of teachers’ registration status
– The Office slammed the Working Family and Student Financial Assistance Agency (WFSFAA) for mismanagement of the scheme leading to 13,000 default cases over the past three years
– The Office suggested the WFSFAA to forward “the negative credit data of the more serious defaulters to credit reference agencies” and the Education Bureau to “conduct an extensive public consultation exercise or opinion poll to confirm the public’s aspirations for disclosure of the List”
– The Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data expressed concerns over the transfer of very private and sensitive data from a Government agency to a commercial enterprise
– Education Lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen urged (in Chinese) the Education Bureau to review the reasons for serious default cases before forwarding the data

Director of Highways apologises for Express Rail Link delay and cost overrun.
– Peter Lau Ka-keung, Director of Highways, reported to a LegCo committee yesterday on the Delay of the Construction of the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link
– Lau admitted that the Highway Department could have been more “open and transparent”, and he therefore “would like to express my apologies to the public”
– When asked by Fan Kwok-wai why the authorities did not reveal the delays earlier, Lau said “delay didn’t mean a postponed completion of the entire project”
– It was meanwhile reported that there is an alleged corruption (in Chinese) case involved in the construction of the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge

Government holds back on ITB proposal.
– The Government has decided to repeal its resolution made in last October on the establishment of the Innovation and Technology Bureau and will submit a new resolution next month.
– Civic Party’s Kenneth Chan Ka Lok slammed the decision as a mere plan to keep it quick for the Government.

Politics (general)

Ronny Tong apologises to Albert Chen and Alan Leong on reform debate.

– Civic Party Ronny Tong said he should not have described Albert Chen and his party compatriot Alan Leong’s call for a TV debate on political reform “naive” and “nonsense”
– Tong apologised (in Chinese) to Chen and Leong, but asserted that final resolution still rests on compromise between Beijing and Pan-dems

China & World

Deputy Director in youth work appointed as Hong Kong’s deputy chief in Beijing.
– It is reported that Wang Zhimin, Deputy Director of the Liaison Office, was appointed as the deputy chief of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office
– Wang is in charge of youth work in Hong Kong