HIGH TIDE (APRIL 21ST 2015) – DAILY POLITICAL ROUND-UP

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

Jasper Tsang makes the move; HKU and Regina Ip take different paths in handling criticisms. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


 

Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Jasper Tsang scraps 84% of budget bill amendments.
– LegCo President Jasper Tsang had decided that 3,281 amendments to the Appropriation Bill submitted by Leung Kwok-hung from the League of Social Democrats were “frivolous or meaningless” and hence they have been taken out of the budget bill debate due to restart on Wednesday, reducing the total number of amendments from 3904 to 618
–  Leung blasted the decision as a “suppression targeting Pan-dems”
– The LegCo secretariat expected that lawmakers can vote on the bill by late May

LegCo on registration fees for healthcare professionals, sexual minorities and ITB.
– The LegCo Panel on Health Services discussed a proposal from the authorities to 118 fee items related to the registration of healthcare professionals, of which 117 fees are proposed to be increased by 7% to 20%
– Civic Party’s Kwok Ka-ki raised concerns over transferring the increase of fees to patients and urged the Government to improve cost-control
– Several lawmakers of the Panel on Constitutional Affairs criticised the Advisory Group on Eliminating Discrimination against Sexual Minorities for making slow progress and urged the authorities to give a clear stance and timetable on legislation
– The Subcommittee on the Two Proposed Resolutions Relating to the Establishment of the Innovation and Technology Bureau agreed to table the resolutions in the LegCo general meeting
– Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Susie Ho said the Government hope the LegCo can vote on the resolution by July and schedule the funding proposal on the Financial Committee’s agenda

Diplomat

Philippine CG expresses concerns over Regina Ip’s remarks.
– The Philippine Consulate General expressed concerns over Regina Ip’s “unfortunate choice of words” and stressed that “discrimination should have no place in any society, most especially in Hong Kong, which prides itself as Asia’s World City”
– The CG was referring to Ip’s recent remarks on Filipino domestic workers providing sexual services for male foreigners, which Ip refused to apologise for “showing concern”

EU representatives meet John Tsang.
– Representatives from EU CGs met with Financial Secretary John Tsang at the EU Office to HK and Macao for an informal exchange
– Austrian Consul-General Dr Claudia Reinprecht also met with Secretaries of Macao to celebrate 150 Years of Relations

Politics (general)

Hong Kong head in Beijing rules out concession on political reform.
– Wang Guanya, the Director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, reasserted that Beijing will not make any compromise with Pan-dems over Hong Kong’s political reform which breaches its own bottom line
– Ronny Tong, however, said he will join the Bar Association’s visit to Beijing in a bid to negotiate with senior officials
– Jasper Tsang, meanwhile, urged both sides to reach a consensus while raising concerns over recent trend of a publicity war

HKU apologises for “inappropriate” remarks on compulsory mainland trips.
– The HKU’s vice-president and pro-vice-chancellor Prof Ian Holliday, who told studentsopposing to the university’s plan to make mainland visits compulsory by 2022 not to come to HKU if they don’t agree with the policy, apologised for his “clumsy and inappropriate” remarks
– Holliday also reassured that the scheme would not be mandatory and has no concrete timetable for its implementation yet

Strike ahead as dockers issue ultimatum to management.
– The Union of Hong Kong Dockers said it is considering a strike if the dock management did not reply to the Union’s demand for a 8.5% pay rise within this week
– The Union, which is an affiliation of the Pan-dem Confederation of Trade Unions, said negotiations with management would be prioritised