HIGH TIDE (APRIL 23RD 2015) – DAILY POLITICAL ROUND-UP

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Political reform lacks surprise; One more withdraws from HKFS; TVB brings in mainland investor. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


 

Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Carrie Lam unveils political reform proposals.
– Chief Secretary Carrie Lam released proposals of political reform yesterday in the LegCo as Pan-dem lawmakers, except Civic Party’s Ronny Tong and League of Social Democrats’ Leung Kwok-hung, left the conference room to boycott the reform
– The main points of the proposals are:

1) The Nomination Committee (NC) shall be formed by 1,200 members from the four major sectors of the existing Election Committee;
2) At least five and at most 10 persons can seek nomination;
3) All NC members must nominate at least two candidates. The two or three persons endorsed by more than half of the NC (with most votes) will become eligible CE candidates;
4) The universal suffrage that follows will adopt a first-past-the-post system

– Lam said “this (the reform) is a widely held aspiration in society which has been consistently reflected in various opinion polls…where there is room for us to make the process more competitive, more democratic, I think we have met that objective”
– Lam and CY Leung later encountered protesters as they launched a publicity campaign to garner support in Mei Foo while Civic Party’s Alan Leong said the Pan-dems will also launch a publicity campaign of its own to counter the Government’s effort

LegCo yet to debate on budget bill amendments.
– The LegCo will resume (in Chinese) debate on the Appropriation Bill today with the 618 amendment bills yet to be discussed and seven more meetings expected
– Filibuster has already started as radical Pan-dem lawmakers requested counting of quorum for more than 10 times

Audit Commission on unauthorised building works, water supply management and public food market management.
– The Audit Commission released latest reports on its investigations
– The Commission criticised the Housing Authorities for delays in issuing orders on 4522 unauthorised building works
– The Commission found that the average vacancy rate in public cooked food markets hit 61% with the two largest market reaching 75% and 81%
– The Commission also suggested review charge on water supply which has not been changed since 1996

Appointments to Education Commission and Lump Sum Grant committees.
– The Government announced the appointment of Mr Tim Lui Tim-leung as the Chairman of the Education Commission to replace the outgoing chairman Mr Moses Cheng
– The Government also appointed nine new members and re-appointed four incumbent members to the Lump Sum Grant Steering Committee

Diplomat

MexCham president to sit on the Pacific Basin Economic Council.
– President of the Mexican Chamber of Commerce HK (MexCham) Mr Germán Muñoz, who has assumed the post since 2013, is named member and Board Director of the Pacific Basin Economic Council
– The MexCham is the only Latin-American chamber of commerce in Hong Kong and China

Politics (general)

Troubles ahead for HKFS as PolyU is set to withdraw.
– The initial result of a campus referendum in the Polytechnic University showed that its students has voted (in Chinese) against staying in the troubled Hong Kong Federation of Students by 1190 to 403
– More challenges may come for the HKFS as the HK Baptist University will also start (in Chinese) a four-day referendum to decide its fate today

Mainland media tycoon becomes indirect stakeholder of TVB.
– The Communications Authority has approved changes in the shareholding structure of TVB’s major stakeholder Young Lion Holdings with its 26% of TVB’s voting shares remain unchanged
– The Young Lion Holdings, meanwhile, has brought in Li Ruigang, founding chairman of CMC M&E Acquisition Co Ltd and chairman of Shanghai Media Group as its partner
– IT lawmaker Charles Mok worried (in Chinese) that local taste and culture would be even harder to survive after the change