High Tide (May 20th 2015) – Daily Political Round-up

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Govt challenges court over HKTV licensing; Officials’ stealthy visits to Beijing; Nelson Wong refuses to back down. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


 

Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Government challenges court decision over HKTV application review.
– The Executive Council appealed against a High Court decision, which ruled rejection of HKTV licensing as ‘unlawful’ and asked the ExCo to conduct a review
– Civil Party’s Ronny Tong said if the Government wanted to defer the review, it should apply for a deferment instead as the appeal is not a justification for delaying execution of a court order

LegCo on railway delays, West Kowloon development plan and disability protection.
– The LegCo railways subcommittee heard an executive of MTR over delayed and overbudget express link to mainland
– The executive said extra costs were incurred as contractors had to adjusted construction methods and confirmed with the MTR because of the delay
– The Transport and Housing Bureau stated (in Chinese) that it has costed an additional HKD4.1 billion to preserve an ancient well unearthed at the To Kwa Wan station construction site on the MTR’s Sha Tin to Central line
– The Subcommittee on Poverty, meanwhile, discussed measures to provide employment support for persons with disabilities
– The Government was urged to abandon the evaluation mechanism on the working capability of these group of people
– The subcommittee to monitor the West Kowloon Cultural District Project was told (in Chinese) that the total cost of the implementation of an integrated basement and infrastructure works for the project is expected to reach HKD23 billion while the Home Affairs Bureau is considering to request for HKD3.7 billion for construction in the initial stages

Government proposes pay rise of up to 4.1% for civil servants.
– A government study recommended pay increases of 3.02% to 4.1% for civil servants
– Government staff union argued that the low pay rise will be “a fatal blow” to the already low staff morale while the Government stressed that it reflects the pay trend of the private sector

Police Commissioner and Fire Service Director pay stealthy visit to Beijing.
– New Police Commissioner Stephen Lo paid (in Chinese) visits to Ministry of Public Security and the Office of Hong Kong and Macau Affairs yesterday in a late notice to the public
– Meanwhile, Director of Fire Services Lai Man-hin also paid a courtesy visit to the Office without advance notice
– Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury KC Chan is now in Seoul to learnabout S. Korea’s policies to promote growth in the financial technologies industry
– Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen, Secretary for Transport and Housing Matthew Cheung and other officials will visit Shenzhen later today to discuss with officials of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office over co-location arrangements of the high-speed rail link

Politics (general)

Cathay flight attendants launch sit-in protest.
– The 6000-strong Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union started a marathon sit-in after three ill-fated talks with the management over changes in meal allowances and new employment contracts
– The Union was discontent with the reduction of meal allowances for cabin crew members posted to Melbourne, Australia, as well as the removal of a legal protection clause covering situations involving unruly passengers

‘Steadfast’ Nelson Wong despite pressures from within.
– Democratic Party’s Nelson Wong said he will not quit the party, nor will he hold back from launching a petition on Friday to call for conditional support to the political reforms
– Wong also said he was “emotionally attached” to the party and that he was considering running for a seat in November in the Northern District Council