High Tide (May 28th 2015) – Daily Political Round-up

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All budget bill amendments blocked; Licence for nursing home in concern cut; Alliance convenor demoted by university. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

All 492 Budget bill amendments blocked.
– Lawmakers have blocked (in Chinese) the remaining 19 amendments to the Appropriation Bill and proceeded to third reading
– Filibustering lawmakers have requested to count for quorum for twelve times, resulting in the meeting being interrupted for two and a half hours
– The whole debate is expected to come to an end on Friday
– Picks for LegCo Questions: 1) Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge; 2) Law enforcement agencies; 3) Retail prices of auto-fuels

Government urged to handle duopoly in electricity market.
– LegCo’s Panel on Economic Development discussed Government’s plan to cut the permitted return of the electricity duopoly from 9.99% to 6%
– Federation of Trade Unions’ Tang Ka-piu doubted if the Government would have enough bargaining power to negotiate with the two electricity powerhouses when no new competitor can enter the market in 2018

SLW on Cathay Pacific labour disputes and nursing homes.
– The Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung welcomed the two sides in the Cathay Pacific labour disputes to return to the negotiation table and said the sides should be given “time and space to talk”
– Meanwhile, Cheung responded (in Chinese) to questions regarding an elderly abuse case in a nursing home in Tai Po, which now has its licence cut, and affirmed that all inspections are done without prior notice
– According to Cheung, the authorities had instituted 44 successful prosecutions against non-compliant nursing homes over the past five years

Wong Kam-sing welcomes measures to address external lighting.
– The Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing welcomed a multi-pronged approach proposed by the Task Force on External Lighting to tackle external lighting issues
– The Government will, among other measures, launch a voluntary charter scheme to take the lead in switching off all external lighting installations in the government buildings after 11pm except for security and operational purposes

CY Leung visits Hong Kong Police Headquarters.
– CY Leung visited the Hong Kong Police Headquarters to learn about the Police’s work on combating counterfeit currency
– Leung also met the visiting Governor of Jiangxi Province Lu Xinshe to strengthen exchanges within the Pan-Pearl River Delta region
– Leung will address lawmakers in a Q&A session later today

Politics (general)

14 pan-dem lawmakers to meet with Beijing officials on Sunday.
– It was reported (in Chinese) that 14 out of 23 pan-dem lawmakers in the ‘lunchbox meeting group’ will go to Shenzhen and meet with three Beijing officials on Sunday to discuss issues over the political reforms
– The group has reached a consensus not to bring with them any protest item
– League of Social Democrats’ Leung Kwok-hung will also join the delegation
– Democratic Party’s Albert Ho, who is also head of the Alliance in Support of Patriotic and Democratic Movements in China, said the June 4th march held on the same day will proceed as scheduled
– Meanwhile, the HKU students’ union announced that it will organise its own June 4th vigil inside the campus as it disagrees with the Alliance goal in “building a democratic China”

Pro-democracy academic demoted by university.
– Joseph Cheng Yu-shek has been demoted by the City University from a chair professor to a professor just three months before his retirement after being investigated over allegedly plagarising the works of others
– Cheng, who was also the convenor of the Alliance for True Democracy, insisted that he had complied with the standards and put the blame on “irregular” procedure

Malaysian police chief: Allowing Joshua Wong entry could “jeopardise our ties with China”.
– Malaysia’s Inspector-General of Police explained that student activist Joshua Wong was denied entry into the country because of security and diplomatic reasons
– “We were afraid that what he [Wong] was going to speak about would harm our security…We do not want him to jeopardise our ties with China,” the police chief said

LGBT prejudices among trainee teachers a serious concern, study finds.
– A study conducted by the Hong Kong Institute of Education found that about 80% of the 332 trainee teachers surveyed have never received education on sexual and gender diversity while 65% expressed negative attitude towards sexual minorities
– It was also found that many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students have faced harassment and discrimination by peers at school