High Tide (June 8th 2015) – Daily Political Round-up

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The Wai Chai Rashomon; CY Leung: keep calm and support political reform; Use of English neglected by Govt and schools. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

CY Leung urges pan-dems to “calm down” and reconsider reform package.
– CY Leung, before departing for Toronto and Chicago to promote Hong Kong, called (in Chinese) for support for the political reform and urged pan-dems to “calm down” and rethink the rationales behind those who backed the package
– Leung said that there might not have sufficient votes from lawmakers either even if the Government agreed to pan-dems’ demands
– Meanwhile, rival groups were in a war of words over the reform when garnering support on the streets

Paul Chan: Money involved in payment disputes in the construction sector could reach HKD20 billion.
– Secretary for Development Paul Chan raised (in Chinese) concerns in his blog over payment disputes in the construction sector as the city reached a peak of its infrastructure projects
– According to Chan, the Government conducted a study in 2011 and found that as much as HKD20 billion was involved in these disputes, in which a total of HKD9.9 billion was related to subcontractors
– The Government has launched – after four years – a three-month public consultation to introduce an ordinance on security of payment for the industry

Politics (general)

The Wai Chai Rashomon – who lied?
– The ‘voluntary repatriation’ of undocumented boy Siu Yau-wai has again become a talking point as his grandmother Chow Siu-shuen accused the Federation of Trade Unions of misleading her to believe that their “family members” were waiting for them in Shenzhen and that the Immigration Department would take the boy away if she did not reported to the department for voluntary repatriation by 3pm that day
– A spokesman of the Immigration Department later clarified that there was no such plan regarding Wai Chai, and that the it had reasons to believe that Chow and her daughter (Wai Chai’s mother) had kept contact all along, contrary to what Chow claimed
– FUT’s Chan Yuen-han, who brought the case into spotlight, earlier insisted that Chow’s decision to leave Hong Kong was “none of her business”

Use of English “neglected” by the Government and schools.
– The Government has been accused of increasingly neglecting the use of English when delivering speeches and answering media questions and writing on officials’ blogs
– Former Secretary for the Civil Service Joseph Wong Wing-ping said, “It’s ridiculous to see the SAR government which on one hand claims to be promoting a biliterate and trilingual culture…but on the other hand is cutting down on the use of English for public communication”
– Meanwhile, concern group Unison also raised concerns over many schools not providing information in English while it was found that 43% of ethnic-minority parents actually wanted their children to attend normal schools and get in touch with Chinese pupils

Kwok Ka-ki launches online discussion platform on China’s democratic development.
– Civic Party’s Kwok Ka-ki launched (in Chinese) an online platform for people to discuss China’s democratic development
– The platform was named “egg” after Murakami’s famous “high wall and egg” metaphor
– The plan was supported by prominent commentators including Johnny Lau Yui-siu and Ching Cheong