HIGH TIDE (APRIL 17TH 2015) – DAILY POLITICAL ROUND-UP

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Pan-dems want meetings with Beijing; Tourism campaign launched; Calls to withdraw water cannon purchase. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


 

Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Carrie Lam to arrange meetings between Beijing and Pan-dems.
– Frederick Fung from HK Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood, after a meeting with Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, said Lam agreed to ask for meetings between Pan-dem lawmakers and Beijing officials
– Fung hoped that meetings with Beijing officials can ease their worries on any connection between universal suffrage and national security
– Education Ip Kin-yuen said he told Lam in another separate meeting that he would vote against the political reform if there is no revision 8.31 decision while the meeting itself mainly focused on policies concerning funding kindergartens

Debate on the Budget continues.
– Lawmakers continued to debate on the Appropriation Bill for the second consecutive day
– DAB’s Ip Kwok-him urged radical Pan-dem lawmakers to stop the filibuster “madness” and defended the Police’s purchase of three water cannons
– DAB’s Christopher Chung, meanwhile, slammed the authorities’ decision to ask the Government-funded RTHK to provide TV programmes, saying that the LegCo is a ‘rubber-stamp’ to approve fundings to the broadcaster
– Democratic Party’s James To and Professional Common’s Kenneth Leung blasted the Government for bundling items which should be debated by the Financial Committee to the Bill
– It was reported (in Chinese) that moderate Pan-dems agreed to coordinate with pro-establishment camp to ensure that there would be at least 35 people in the venue to avoid adjournment as lawmakers start to vote on the 3904 amendments on next Wednesday

Appointments to advisory committee on admission of quality migrants and Invest Hong Kong.
– The Government appointed two non-official members, Mr Chong Man-keung and Dr Hung Keung, to the Advisory Committee on Admission of Quality Migrants and Professionals with effect from April 16, 2015 to June 30, 2016
– Invest Hong Kong announced the appointment of Dr Jimmy Chiang, previously Head of the Tourism and Hospitality team, as the Associate Director-General to replace the outgoing incumbent Mr Andrew Davis

Politics (general)

Tourism Board announces HKD20 million campaign to attract tourists.
– The Tourism Board launched a HKD20 million “Happy@hongkong Super Jetso” in a bid to attract tourists and boost spending
– Promotions included discounts for theme parks, museums, shopping malls, restaurants & cafes as well as jewellery shops
– Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So welcomed the campaign, saying that “we would like to cast a very positive image for tourism in Hong Kong as well as we want all these great deals to benefit the people of Hong Kong, to ignite the local consumption in Hong Kong”
– The Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions Tourism Committee released a statement petitioned by 20 institutions a more than 500 people in the retail, tourism, accommodation and beverage industry to condemn recent anti-parallel trading protests
Democratic Party accepts Nelson Wong’s resignation.
– The Democratic Party Central Committee held a meeting today, in which members accepted Nelson Wong’s resignation from the committee
– Wong, who has been calling for his party to support the “pocket first” reform package, said earlier that he made the decision to protect the party
– Party Chairwoman Emily Lau said there were suggestions during the meeting to expand a stricter set of party discipline to all members
Pan-dems and pressure groups speak out against water cannon purchase. 
– The Civil Human Rights Front held a press conference yesterday together with pan-dems to urge the Government to withdraw its HKD27 million plan to buy three water cannons
– Civic Party’s Chan Ka-lok, the League of Social Democrats’ Leung Kwok-hung had both submitted amendments to the budget bill in LegCo to object to the purchase
– The League of Social Democrats’ Wong Ho-ming challenged Christopher Chung and Commissioner Andy Tsang to a test of the cannons’ jet power