HIGH TIDE (APRIL 2ND 2015) – DAILY POLITICAL ROUND-UP

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No more drama from ATV; InnoTech Committee established; Moderate Pan-dems for political reform. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


 

Politics (Government &LegCo)

No more drama from ATV, ExCo decides.
– Despite the unanticipated unilateral announcement by ATV’s major stakeholder Wong Ching on a takeover, ExCo has decided not to renew the 58-year-old broadcast corporation’s free TV licence
– Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So said “this is the first time in the local broadcasting history that an incumbent’s broadcasting licence is not renewed”
– The Government, meanwhile, has granted a free TV licence to HK Television Entertainment Company Limited’s (HKTVE)
– ATV stated it may take legal action to overturn the decision.

Government appointments to InnoTech advisory committee.
– The Government announced yesterday the establishment of the Advisory Committee on Innovation and Technology to replace the Steering Committee on InnoTech
– The Committee will be chaired by the Advisor to the Chief Executive on InnoTech Nicholas Yang
– Members include Chairman of the HK Science and Technology Parks Corporation Fanny Law, Chairman of the HK Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited Wong Ming-yam, Chairman of the HK Productivity Council Clement Chen and Chairman of the Research Grants Council Benjamin Wah
– IT lawmaker Charles Mok is not on the list

Financial Committee special meeting on transport, education and development.
– The Financial Committee heard Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung, Secretary for Education Eddie Ng and Secretary for Development Paul Chan in yesterday’s special meetingto examine the Estimates
– Pan-dems blasted the Government’s management concerning the third runway project and juxtaposed border control at West Kowloon Terminus
– DAB’s Ann Chiang said the general direction of education policy should be reviewed in light of “deteriorating” quality despite mounting expenditure
– Michael Tien of New People’s Party worried that current transportation capacity is not enough to sustain the Hung Shui Kiu New Town development plan

Politics (general)

Moderate democrats plan to petition on 2017 CE election.
– It was reported that some non-lawmaker democrats with a moderate stance are planning on a petition to urge their compatriots in the LegCo to accept a compromised democracy granted in the political reform on 2017 CE election
– One of the petition’s initiators said it is more worrying to let CY Leung remain as the CE
– IT lawmaker Charles Mok said it is the unjust system, not the person in office, that matters
– Democratic Party’s Sin Chung-kai said a consensus has already been made among Pan-dem lawmakers and it shall not be overturned unless there is a genuine referendum over political reform

Probe into Benny Tai over for now.
– The HKU Review Committee has turned down request by the HKU Committee to submit a “final report” on alleged breaching of donation guidelines by its staff Benny Tai
– A source said that the pro-establishment members in the Committee are now trying to initiate a probe into the leakage of information of its meetings regarding the case

Here is a video with a local refugee and NGO on the HK government’s handling of refugee slums.

China & World

Hong Kong and Mainland sign arrangement for avoidance of double taxation.
– Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury KC Chan has signed the Fourth Protocol to the Arrangement for Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with the Deputy Commissioner of the State Administration of Taxation, Mr Zhang Zhiyong
– Chan said “the Fourth Protocol clarifies the conditions under which an investment fund would be qualified for Hong Kong resident status, thus giving certainty to investment funds’ application of the tax avoidance arrangements”