HIGH TIDE (APRIL 20TH 2015) – DAILY POLITICAL ROUND-UP

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Gov’t to launch all-out reform promotion; FS believes “Ting Hai effect”; Political appointments in academia. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


 

Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Government to launch all-out campaign to rally public support for political reform.
– Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said the Government will launch a large-scale drive with its political appointees out on the streets to promote the political reform after it is unveiled on Wednesday
– Democratic Party’s Emily Lau slammed the attempt as a one-way promotion instead of a genuine communication
– Pan-democratic groups are also planning their own campaign against the reform
– Liberal Party’s James Tien said his is willing to communicate with Beijing if the Civic Party could accept the reform that promises of refinement in 2022

Ting Hai effect help raise stock market awareness, claims John Tsang.
– Financial Secretary John Tsang wrote (in Chinese) yesterday on his blog entitled with the (in)famous TV drama “The Greed of Man” starring Hong Kong actor Adam Cheng, warning investors to be aware of “Ting Hai effect” as the stock market is bounded to drop at some point
– Tsang, meanwhile, criticised Pan-dem lawmakers’ uncompromising stance on political reform as well as renewed filibustering in the LegCo’s debate on Budget bill, describing the latter as a “box office flop”
– Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung said (in Chinese) that the employed population has increased by more than 265,000 and the real income for low-wage workers was raised by 12.7% since the implementation of the minimum wage, which will be set as HKD32.5 per hour starting from May 1
– Secretary for Development Paul Chan said (in Chinese) that seawater system used for flushing is covering 80% of Hong Kong’s total population and that 20 million square-metres of drinking water could be saved when the salt water supply system for Northwest New Territories can run in full operation

33 arrested in operation against parallel trading.
– 33 more were arrested in the past two days as the Immigration Department and the Police stepped up operations against parallel trading
– 2144 Mainlanders and 14 Hong Kong residents have been arrested for the kind since 2012, of which 215 have been prosecuted and 205 jailed
– Sheung Shui station was packed with parallel traders in the last weekend in a bid to “catch the last train” as the “one-trip-per-week” policy is put into effect starting from today

Politics (general)

Teachers’ union raises concern over political interference through appointments.
– It was reported that the Professional Teachers’ Union was worried by a figure showing a third of university council members appointed since CY Leung assumed office in 2012 are current or previous NPC/CPPCC members
– Education lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen said he will move a motion to review laws that allow the CE to exercise power in academia as chancellor of universities

Majority supports political reform, FTU survey finds.
– The pro-establishment Federation of Trade Unions said almost 80% of the public support the political reform and about the same size of respondents opposed filibustering in the LegCo, according its public opinion survey
– The New Territories Association of Societies also released a survey result with 60% of respondents supporting the reform and more than 80% desiring a ‘one person, one vote’ CE election