HIGH TIDE (APRIL 28TH 2015) – DAILY POLITICAL ROUND-UP

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Lawmaker warns of 30% over budget on express link project; Competition Commission to target petrol market. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


 

Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Carrie Lam on bus parade.
– Chief Secretary Carrie Lam told reporters that senior officials did not get off the bus during the parade so as to avoid disruption and “injuries to some of the participants”
– Scholarism Joshua Wong said (in Chinese) that his group will continue to target officials during any future campaigns
– Meanwhile, ExCo convenor Lam Woon-kwong expected the divide in public opinion on political reform will last till the last moment while stressing that Pan-dem lawmakers should also take the chance of reforming the LegCo into consideration

Steven Lo expected to assume the role of Police Commissioner.
– It was reported (in Chinese) that current Police Commissioner Andy Tsang will take a pre-retirement leave starting from Friday
– Deputy Commissioner Steven Lo Wai Chung is expected to take over Tsang’s position on next Monday based on CY Leung’s nomination and the Central Government’s appointment

Lawmaker warns of some 30% over budget for the HK express rail link.
– New People’s Party’s Michael Tien warned that the cost of building the HK-Guangzhou express rail link could hit HKD85 billion – a 30% over budget compared to the original HKD65 billion
– Tien noted that neither the MTR Corp nor its major shareholder, the Government, is willing to cover the extra cost, which may lead to a court case
– It was suggested that the best way is to ask contractors to absorb the costs
– The LegCo select committee on the delay of the construction will continue its hearings later today

Petrol market locked on by Competition Commission.
– The Competition Commission confirmed at a meeting of the LegCo Panel on Economic Development that the body has already embarked a study on the issue of fuel prices and the market in Hong Kong
– The Consumer Council earlier in February reported that petrol suppliers, when following fluctuations in international prices for crude oil, were quick to raise prices but slow to cut them
– CEO of the Commission Dr Stanley Wong stressed that they do not have the power to compel a company to turn over information

Hong Kong-EU meeting on customs cooperation.
– The tenth Hong Kong, China-EU Joint Customs Co-operation Committee meeting was held and co-chaired by the Assistant Commissioner (Excise and Strategic Support) of the Customs and Excise Department, Mr David Fong, and the Director of Security, Safety, Trade Facilitation, Rules of Origin and International Cooperation of the Directorate General of Taxation and Customs Union of the European Commission, Mr Antonis Kastrissianakis
– The meeting examined the strategy to combat illicit trade of goods and an Action Plan on Cooperation in the Customs Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights was signed

Politics (general)

‘Long Hair’ goes to court for his lost hair.
– League of Social Democrats’ ‘Long Hair’ Leung Kwok-hung challenged government policy over hair length in jail in the Court of First Instance
– Leung, who was forced to cut his hair while in jail last year, argued that it was a case of discrimination as the policy only applies to male prisoners
– Meanwhile, Leung was ordered to leave after protesting (in Chinese) when CY Leung delivered a speech at the Labour Day Reception at the HK Convention and Exhibition Centre

HKFS will not join Tiananmen Square incident vigil.
– The Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) announced (in Chinese) that it will not join the vigil to commemorate the 26th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown for the first time
– It said that member unions failed to come to a consensus over the issue, but asserted that it will continue to fight for an official rehabilitation of those involved in the movement