High Tide (May 16th 2015) – Daily Political Round-up

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Govt to raise fees on three areas; New ID card system approved; Bomb threat against DC member. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher.


 

Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Financial Committee approved HKD1.4 billion ID card system.
– The Financial Committee approved a government project to upgrade the ID card system which is expected to cost HKD1.4 billion
– Undersecretary for Security John Lee claimed that the existing ID card system has reached its product life (10 years) and a replacement is necessary
– Assistant Director of Immigration Department Lok Wai-man stressed that the new ID card is protected with double encryption – only authorised readers can access to the stored information

Government to raise charges on DSE, car emission test and building services.
– The Hong Kong Examination and Assessments Authority is reviewing (in Chinese) the DSE application fee which is expected to be raised by 2% in 2016, roughly equals to HKD2,700 for six subjects
– A proposal to double vehicle emission test fee will be tabled at the LegCo on May 20 for negative vetting
– An increase of 40 fee items of services provided by the Building Department by 68% will also be tabled on May 20

On energy and electricity: Government promotes and Suppliers protest.
– The Environmental Bureau and the Electrical Mechanical Services Department launchedthe “Energy Saving for All” to promote energy saving
– Meanwhile, Chairman of HK Electric Investments Canning Fok urged the Government to consider the interest of energy suppliers and argued that the company’s electricity tariff over the past five years was a very mild one – just 5.9% compared with inflation of 23% over the same period

Diplomat

British Consulate-General named 10th in LGBT inclusion ranking.
– The British Consulate-General was named 10th place in the LGBT Workplace Inclusion Index ranking by Community Business
– The British Council Hong Kong was also at the same spot

Politics (general)

Chow Yung: Pro-reform petition received 760,000 signatories.
– The pro-Beijing Alliance for Peace and Democracy claimed that they have gathered more than 760,000 signatories during the past seven days in a petition campaign to support the political reform
– CY Leung, who will be away from Hong Kong on vacation (again) from today to May 25, also signed (in Chinese) the petition yesterday without giving notice to the media in advance

District Councillor receives bomb threat.
– Central and Western District Councillor Jackie Cheung reported to the Police that he has received a bomb (in Chinese) threat claiming that bombs will be placed in his DC office, the High Court, the Eastern Law Courts Building and the Kowloon City Law Courts Building
– The Police did not find any suspicious items after investigating all four sites
– Cheung also revealed that the letter threatened to kill him and three other political figures whom he did not name

China & World

Shenzhen surpasses Hong Kong to top China’s competitiveness ranking.
– Hong Kong lost its title as China’s most competitive city for the first time in 10 years, according to the PRC’s premier academic research organisation Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS)
– Shenzhen topped the list instead owing to its focus on innovation development