HIGH TIDE (APRIL 14TH 2015) – DAILY POLITICAL ROUND-UP

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Gov’t to promote Putonghua; Pan-dems to filibuster; Ricky Wong to air shows on ATV. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


 

Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Government officials on “one trip per week” measure.
– A Government spokesman said the HKSAR welcomed the Central Government’s adjustment on the multiple-entry permits, which is expected to reduce the total number of visitors from mainland by 10%
– “Our next important job priority is to seize this opportunity to re-establish the positive image of Hong Kong as a hospitable city,” the spokesman said
– CY Leung claimed that the new measure was more the result of “our proposals to the central authorities back in June” instead of the “counter-productive” and “uncivilised” protest actions
– Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So cautioned people from Hong Kong who are planning or showing interest in engaging in parallel trading activities “to observe the relevant laws of the Mainland”

LegCo on teaching in Putonghua and on social welfare.
– The LegCo Panel of Education discussed a policy to use Potonghua as the medium of instruction for teaching the Chinese language Subject (PMIC)
– Both Helena Wong and Albert Ho from the Democratic Party slammed the authorities for describing PMIC as a “long-term and developmental target of the Chinese Language curriculum”
– Secretary for Education Eddie Ng asserted that the implementation of PMIC is not a political decision and would not affect the application of Cantonese
– Meanwhile, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung urged (in Chinese) lawmakers who are planning to filibuster during LegCo’s debate on the budget bill to be “lenient” as new measures to provide additional social security can help more than a million people in need
– People Power’s Raymond Chan said the Government should not use measures as “hostages” to put controversial issues at the top of the Financial Committee’s agenda

More filibustering in LegCo as amendments to Budget hit record high.
– The LegCo will resume Second Reading debate on the Appropriation Bill on Wednesday and Thursday
– The LegCo Secretariat said (in Chinese) that it had received a record-high submissions of amendments of 3904 by 7:30 pm yesterday
– People Power’s Albert Chan and Raymond Chan had tabled 300 amendments
– Democratic Party’s Emily Lau said her party will not participant in this new round of filibustering

Politics (general)

Pan-dem lawmakers vow to block political reform for the third time.
– 23 Pan-dem lawmakers signed a third joint-statement (in Chinese) to strengthen their unity against the political reform under the 8.31 framework
– The lawmakers blasted the Government for twisting content of the Basic Law and acting against the principal of “One country, two systems”
– Ronny Tong was on the list while Raymond Wong, Albert Chan, Raymond Chan and Leung Kwok-hung were missing
– It was reported that the Government is likely to set the barrier of entry at 120 votes from the 1200 nominating committee to lure (in Chinese) 13 or 14 Pan-dem lawmakers into supporting the reform
– Democratic Party’s Nelson Wong, who has stirred up debates within his party lately, announced his quitting from the party’s central committee while stressing that he is not planning a breakup
Ricky Wong proposes to air HKTV shows on ATV.
– HKTV’s Ricky Wong has offered to rent ATV’s analogue Home channel and digital channel for four hours a day totalling 1000 hours to air its TV programmes
– ATV said it is taking the proposal into consideration
– Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So said “for any free-to-air TV stations, they can decide on their programming so long as they can meet the requirements stated in the licence”
HKFTU announces ambitious plan for DC elections.
– The HKFTU has elected its new term of leadership, with Lam Suk-yee and Stanley Ng remained as the party’s President and Chairman
– Lam said her party will field more than 50 candidates in the DC elections and continue its fight for legislating standard working hour