High Tide (May 7th 2015) – Daily Political Round-up

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Green Form pilot scheme endorsed; Probe on Paul Chan dropped; HK ranks 13th in tourism competitiveness. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


 

Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Green Form Subsidised Home Ownership Pilot Scheme endorsed.
– The Housing Authority (HA) has endorsed details of implementation of the Green Form Subsidised Home Ownership Pilot Scheme (GSH)
– Price of the GSH will be set with a higher discount than for Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) and at least 50% of the flats should be affordable to target applicants with a mortgage-to-income ratio of 40% for a four-person household
– The HA can exercise power to nominate Green Form buyers if a GSH flat owner decides to sell his flat to the HA during the first five years of his occupancy

Debates on Budget Bill continue albeit with delay.
– The LegCo entered the forth-round debate of the Appropriation Bill, which centres around policies on land and housing, transport, environmental protection and conservation, with about an hour behind the schedule
– A total of five requests to count for quorum had been raised by People Power’s Albert Chan, Raymond Chan and the LSD’s Leung Kwok-hung
– Meanwhile, the Public Works Subcommittee approved after three rounds of discussions a government request for HKD62.7 million for the Kai Tak Sports Hub with a further approval from the Financial Committee needed
– Picks for LegCo Questions: 1) growth enterprise market; 2) green buildings; 3) foreign domestic helpers; 4) rule of law

Five shops fined after a week of PSB full implementation.
– Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing told reporters that there were five cases of fixed penalty notice on plastic shopping bag charging in the first five days of full implementation
– Wong said most of the five cases are about non-foodstuff retail activities and construction-related retail shops including a pharmacy, a piano training centre and a dentist clinic

Politics (general)

ICAC closes case over Paul Chan’s possible conflict of interest.
– Wong Tai Sin DC member and former Accountancy lawmaker Mandy Tam Heung-man, who requested a probe in 2013 on Paul Chan’s possible conflict of interest over the ownership of a 18,000 sq ft of farmland within the Government’s development plan in Kwu Tung North, received a notice (in Chinese) from the ICAC saying that the investigation was dropped without giving any reason
– Civic Party’s Kwok Ka-ki and LSD’s Leung Kwok-hung both said they would not rule out initiating another investigation by resorting to the LegCo’s special powersFanny Law names two Pan-dems as potential CE contenders.
– Exco member Fanny Law said Civic Party’s Ronny Tong and Kwok Ka-ki could become CE candidates as the two Pan-dems are more willing to engage with Beijing
– Tong worried that Law’s remarks would put him under pressure from fellow Pan-dems

China & World

World Business Forum to be held in Hong Kong.
– The Australia-based Business Executive Education will hold its World Business Forum in Hong Kong in June 2015
– Speakers include former chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board Dr Ben Bernanke, co-founder of Apple Steve Wozniak; filmmaker and director Oliver Stone, founding partner of Peppers & Rogers Group Don Peppers, scholars and authors who will speak on a range of global economic and innovation issues
– Hong Kong is the first Asian city to host the event

Hong Kong ranks 13th in world travel and tourism competitiveness.
– The World Economic Forum released the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015 in which Hong Kong ranked 13th out of 141 countries in the overall ranking, after Australia (7th), Japan (9th) and Singapore (11th) in the Asia-Pacific region
– Hong Kong ranked 1st in Ground & Port Infrastructure, 2nd in Business Environment (after Singapore) and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Readiness (after Finland) but scored badly in International Openness (47th), Tourist Service Infrastructure (78th), Environmental Sustainability (79th) and Price Competitiveness (127th)