High Tide (May 19th 2015) – Daily Political Round-up

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LegCo panel on tobacco control measures; Ultimatum to Nelson Wong; Professional sectors hold polls on political reforms. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

LegCo discusses tobacco control measures.
– The LegCo Panel on Health Services discussed measures to enhance tobacco control policy, which include enlarging the space covered by warning on packages from 50% to at least 85%; designating bus stops located at the tunnel portal areas as non-smoking areas; and regulating electronic cigarettes
– Panel members argued that the authorities had not conducted enough consultation with the cigarette industry
– Meanwhile, panel members welcomed the Government’s proposal of a HKD3.15 billion plan to expand Tuen Mun Hospital while raising concerns on whether there would be sufficient medial staff

Housing Society to redevelop civil servant housing estates.
– The Housing Society announced that it will launch a pilot scheme to redevelop civil servant housing estates, providing lands for the construction of 4000 subsidised flats
– It was reported that some 227 housing sites for civil servants have never been redeveloped
– Civil servants living in the potential redevelopment areas in Sham Shui Po, Kowloon City and Shau Kei Wan can sell their flats at market price or 10% above the price and are eligible to buy second-hand subsidised flats built by the society

Politics (general)

Albert Ho issues ultimatum to Nelson Wong.
– Nelson Wong, a senior Democratic Party member, said he will organise a petition to support the political reforms with conditions
– Former party chairman Albert Ho and party member Hui Chi-fung blasted the move for tarnishing the party’s reputation
– Ho said Wong’s petition is “in effect, no different” from the one led by Beijing-loyalist Chow Yung who recently claimed that 1.2 million signatories have been gathered over the past nine days
– Ho and Hui demanded Wong to drop his plan or they will call for an urgent meeting of the central committee to discuss suspending his party membership

Professional groups hold surveys on political reform.
– Accountancy sector lawmaker, Professional Common’s Kenneth Leung, said he will conduct a survey among his 30000 constituents starting from this Thursday until June 3 on political reform
– The Medical sector has begun (in Chinese) third round of opinion poll with its 12000 members and will submit the results to Medical lawmaker Leung Ka-lau
– Construction, surveying, town planning and landscape architectural sectors will also start a reform survey and hand the findings to Architectural, Surveying and Planning lawmaker Tony Tse

Chinachem Charitable Foundation is not a beneficiary of Nina Wang’s HKD83 billion legacy, Court rules.
– No fairy-tale ending for Nina Wang’s family members as the Court of Final Appeal ruled that the Chinachem Charitable Foundation is only a trustee, not beneficiary of Nina Wang’s HKD83 billion legacy
– This implies that the foundation can only use the estate in accordance to Nina Wan’s will
– The foundation will need to establish a supervisory body and arrange for the creation of a Chinese Prize equivalent to the Nobel Prize