High Tide (May 10th 2015) – Daily Political Round-up

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US delegation denies “foreign influence” accusation; Signatory campaign to support political reform; Former Medical lawmaker dies at 60. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Immigration Department: No signs of increased parallel-trading activities.
– Director of Immigration Chan Kwok-ki said (in Chinese) the authorities had launched 14 operations and arrested 163 parallel traders since mid-April after the “one trip per week” policy was announced, asserting that the figure was not significantly higher than that before the announcement of the new regulation
– Chan also said the Department had denied a total of 33,000 people entry and arrested more the 2000 people in regard to parallel trading

Transport boss on Express Rail link delays.
– Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung said (in Chinese) the Government will demand the Express Rail link construction to be back on schedule as it became clear that meeting the 2017 completion date is unlikely
– Cheung said the Government will reserve all legal rights while refusing to comment on a “responsibility cap” for the MTR Corp
– Meanwhile, New People’s Party’s Michael Tien expressed concerns over joint checkpoint proposal as he learnt that the mainland authorities were ready to set up checkpoint in Shenzhen North station


Visiting congressmen deny US influence in Occupy movement.
– Republican congressman Matt Salmon, who concluded a four-day visit to Hong Kong with fellow Republican Tom Emmer and Democrat Alan Lowenthal, issued a statement stressing that “while the chief executive previously accused the United States of influencing the 2014 Hong Kong protests, chairman Salmon took the opportunity at each of their meetings to clarify that the United States did not take any role in the Occupy Central protests”
– Salmon earlier suggested that “sometimes half a loaf is better than no loaf” when commenting on political reforms

Politics (general)

Organisations rally for political reform.
– Spokesman of the pro-Beijing Alliance for Peace and Democracy said they have gathered (in Chinese) almost 170,000 signatories in the first day of a signatory campaign to support the political reform
– Registration with ID card number was not required
– Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said (in Chinese) the Chief Executive Office has given out notice allowing officials to participate in the campaign on a personal basis while Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing said he already signed before attending another pro-political reform activities organised by New Territories organisations
– It was claimed that more than 200 people had participated in yet another pro-political reform event organised by the Federation of Hong Kong Guangdong Community Organisations with helicopter, yacht and bus deployed

Former Medical lawmaker Lo Wing-lok dies at 60.
– Former Hong Kong Medical Association chairman and former Medical lawmaker Lo Wing-lok passed away at the age of 60, reportedly of lung cancer
– Lo was a member of the League of Social Democrats but was accused of becoming increasingly pro-establishment in his later years
– Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said Lo “made significant contribution to the improvement of Hong Kong’s preparedness for infectious disease outbreaks by serving as a member of the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases of the Centre for Health Protection in the last 11 years”