High Tide (May 2nd 2015) – Daily Political Round-up

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Carrie Lam “hijacks” labour procession; Labour Day, MSW day & PSB day; “Misleading” Basic Law teaching package. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Carrie Lam ‘hijacks’ FTU Labour Day march.
– Chief Secretary Carrie Lam was accused of hijacking the pro-Beijing Federation of Trade Unions Labour Day procession as she appeared, without giving prior notice to the mass media, when the march reached the Tamar Park
– Upon Lam’s arrival, the procession turned to call on the participants to support the political reform proposals
– FTU’s chairman Stanley Ng defended Lam by arguing that she was only responding to workers’ political concerns
– According to a report from the Xinhua News Agency, Lam was invited (in Chinese) by FTU to reach out to the workers
– Meanwhile, the pro-democracy Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (CTU) started off its own protest at 3 in the Victoria Park and arrived at the Government Complex at 5, reportedly with about 3,400 participants, demanding legislation on standard working hours and implementation of universal pension scheme
– Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung stressed that “Occupational safety and health has all along been a matter of the Government’s prime concern…we will continue to enhance harmonious employer-employee relations, promote employment and ensure a safe and healthy working environment apart from exploring other issues concerning labour benefits”

New minimum rate wage and plastic bag levy full implementation.
– A tender notice that the Statutory Minimum Wage has been raised from HKD30/hr to HKD32.5/hr starting from May 1
– The monthly monetary cap on the requirement of employers recording the total number of hours worked by employees under the Employment Ordinance is also raised from $12,300 to $13,300, according to the authorities
– Meanwhile, the Environmental Department stated that it gave 75 verbal warnings to non-complying shops out of a 9,300 sample in the last month as full implementation started yesterday
– No more verbal warnings will be given and non-complying shops will face a HKD2,000 fine and possible prosecution

CY Leung to visit Boston on InnoTech issues.
– CY Leung will lead a delegation to Boston from May 4 to May 7 to study the development of innovation and technology there
– Among the delegation members are the Commissioner for Innovation and Technology Janet Wong, the Director of Information Services Patrick Nip and the Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Innovation and Technology Nicholas Yang
– Meanwhile, CS Carrie Lam will visit Brussels, Dublin, Rome and Venice with a brief stop in Amsterdam from May 3 to May 9 to increase the business and cultural ties between Hong Kong and EU member states

Politics (general)

Teachers union slams “misleading” Basic Law teaching resource package.
– Director of the education research department of the pro-democracy Professional Teachers’ Union Cheung Yiu-fai slammed the new Basic Law teaching resource package as “misleading” and lacks objectivity
– Cheung referred to a particular structural chart of the Central and Hong Kong governments provided by the package, in which Hong Kong was put under both the Beijing direct authority and the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office
– Cheung said that the depiction was confusing as it mixed task relations and power structure into a single concept