High Tide (May 8th 2015) – Daily Political Round-up

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Judicial review on political adverts; Europe Day & end of WW2; Fear over national security law resurfaces. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


 

Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

LegCo subcommittee meets on reform package.
– The LegCo Subcommittee on Proposals on the Method of Selecting the Chief Executive in 2017 held a meeting yesterday
– Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam stressed that government officials will continue the promotion campaign while admitting that they have been facing some difficulties
– Tam earlier said it was unfair for Fanny Law to single out certain Pan-dems as eligible CE candidates
– Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said he met with moderate Pan-dem lawmaker (Medical) Leung Ka-lau but no support from Leung was secured
– Meanwhile, vice-chairwoman of the Basic Law Committee Elsie Leung hinted the possibility of changing corporate votes in the nomination committee to individual votes if the political reform proposals could be passed

The Ombudsman probes system of regularisation on illegal occupation of Government land.
– The Ombudsman announced a direct investigation into the Lands Department (LandsD) regularisation system on illegal occupation of official land and breach of lease conditions
– The Ombudsman said the LandsD often takes more than a year to process a regularisation application, “allowing the irregularity to continue, which may result in prolonged suffering of residents/landowners in the neighbourhood from the nuisance or inconvenience caused”

Diplomat

EU diplomats celebrate Europe Day; Russian CG commemorates WWII victory anniversary.
– Representatives from the EU in celebrated the European Day in Hong Kong and Macao with seminars and a reception with Financial Secretary John Tsang as the guest of honour
– Meanwhile, the Russian consul-general Mr Valdimir A Kalinin hosted another reception to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory of WWII, with guest of honour and Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing announcing that the Government will also organise events to commemorate the victory of Chinese war of resistance against Japanese aggression

Politics (general)

Judicial review sought to stop adverts on political reform.
– A retired press photographer Cheung Tak-wing is seeking judicial review at the High Court to stop the Government from running adverts on political reform on TV and radio
– Cheung said the Communications Authority should not have allowed such promotion adverts to be released as they are political in nature and are prohibited under the Broadcasting Ordinance
– Former Bar Association chairman Paul Shieh will present the case for Cheung

HKFS pledges reform as half of its members left.
– Deputy Secretary General of the troubled Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) Wong Ka-fai said the organisation will reform its structure and decision-making process in hopes of getting universities to return as City University became the fourth member institution to quit
– Meanwhile, students from the three universities that withdrew earlier, namely the University of Hong Kong, the HK Polytechnic University and the HK Baptist University, are planning to set up a new student body

China & World

Hong Kong’s responsibilities on national security stressed.
– The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress released the second draft of the national security law in which Hong Kong was mentioned for the first time
– The city was named twice in the draft, being stressed obligations to ensure national unity and security in both occasions
– vice-chairwoman of the Basic Law Committee Elsie Leung said (in Chinese) that Beijing would have to seek advice from the HKSAR before introducing to the city
– Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen asserted the document is still a draft and that the Basic Law provides procedures to apply national law to Hong Kong