HIGH TIDE (APRIL 15TH 2015) – DAILY POLITICAL ROUND-UP

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CY Leung “confident” to secure support for reform; Monitoring body warns of dangerous water cannons. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


 

Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

CY Leung “confident” in gathering support for political reform.
– CY Leung said he is confident that the public will support the reform and the Government will continue to convince lawmakers to vote for it when it is tabled in LegCo
– Meanwhile, Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen said the Government is putting forward a proposal with a low entry threshold and is also considering organising TV debates for potential candidates
– It was reported (in Chinese) that the Government’s potential targets among Pan-dem lawmakers include six votes from the Democratic Party and six other votes from Professional Commons’ Charles Mok and Kenneth Leung, HK Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood’s Frederick Fung, Education Ip Kin-yuen, Neighbourhood Workers Service Centre’s Leung Yiu Chung, and Health Services Joseph Lee
– Several Pan-dem lawmakers, including those mentioned above and Labour Party’s Cheung Kwok-che, have been invited by Chief Secretary Carrie Lam to discuss political reform

The Ombudsman initiates investigation into new measures to strengthen vehicles exhaust emissions control.
– The Ombudsman declared an investigation into the implementation of a new government policy to strengthen control on exhaust emissions from petrol and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vehicles
– The Ombudsman will probe whether the Transport Department and the Environmental Protection Department had taken adequate planning, coordination and ancillary facilities for the implementation of the policy

Carrie Lam leads official meeting to curb parallel trading.
– Chief Secretary Carrie Lam chaired an inter-departmental meeting on tackling parallel trading on the Hong Kong side as the Central Government imposed a one-trip-per-week limits for Shenzhen visitors
– The meeting heard reports from the Land Department, the Fire Services Department, the Police Force, the Customs & Excise Department as well as the Food & Environmental Hygiene Department on their works to crack down and investigate parallel trading activities

LegCo on hawker policy, non-franchised bus services and late membership.
– 44 deputations/individuals and more attended the LegCo Subcommittee on Hawker Policy meeting on hawker licences
– The Association of the Residents of Private Buildings of Kwai Fong District raised concerns over hawkers blocking pedestrian roads while the United Hawkers Development Platform argued that hawkers can utilise areas more efficiently
– Meanwhile, the Panel on Transport discussed the Public Transport Strategy Study on non-franchised bus, during which Albert Chan from People Power suggested (in Chinese) issuing specific licences for school bus services
– HK Federation of Trade Unions’ Tang Ka-piu also criticised the Government for inadequate support for school bus service providers
– The Establishment Subcommittee blocked all late membership application from 11 pro-establishment lawmakers with Ann Chiang withdrawing her application

Government “open for negotiation” on health insurance as consultation deadline approaches.
– Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said there will be no extension for the public consultation on the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme which will end this Thursday
– Ko said that the Government will not compromise on the subject of guaranteed acceptance and guaranteed renewal without the risk of re-assessment while stating that it is still open for negotiation on matters such as the level of premium paid by policyholders

Politics (general)

Human Rights Monitor warns of dangerous water cannons.
– The Human Rights Monitor warned that jets of water from water cannons, at their lowest power, can hit protesters with 145kg of force from a distance of five metres and 127kg from 10 metres
– The Police maintained that the vehicles are meant to ensure a distance between protesters and police officers in case of violent events