High Tide (June 11th 2015) – Daily Political Round-up

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Secretary for Security calls for peaceful protest; Public opinion on reform package levelled; Privacy Commissioner warns of Minority Report resemblance. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher



Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Secretary for Security warns of illegal assembly outside LegCo complex.
– Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok urged protesters during the LegCo debate on political reform package to “act peacefully and in accordance with the law”
– “[T]here is one condition, one bottom line, that is, they must not breach the law,” Lai reiterated
– The Civil Human Rights Front expressed dissatisfaction over the Police issuing Letter of No Objection which only allowed an assembly of 2,600 people outside the LegCo complex while Lai stressed that the dispute can be resolved through the Appeal Board of Public Meetings and Processions
– The Beijing-loyalist Alliance for Peace and Democracy will also rally outside the LegCo building next Wednesday and Thursday

Three pan-dem lawmakers cleared of allegations over undeclared donations.
– Three pan-dem lawmakers namely Civic Party’s Alan Leong and Claudia Mo as well as Democratic Party’s James To were cleared of allegations over undeclared donations from Hong Kong’s media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying
– It was concluded that the charges against the two Civic Party members were “unsubstantiated” while no further investigation will be conducted against the DPHK lawmaker unless new evidence was found
– Lai is likely to be called to a LegCo hearing over the probe against Labour Party’s Lee Cheuk-yan and Leung Kwok-hung from League of Social Democrats
– Meanwhile, a non-binding motion moved (in Chinese) by Architectural, Surveying and Planning lawmaker Tony Tse to step up regulation on the repair and maintenance works of private buildings was endorsed in the general meeting
– Picks for LegCo Questions: 1) Funding for public works; 2) Fuel prices; 3) Occupation in Admiralty

Suspected MERS case identified at Hong Kong health centre.
– Public hospitals have stepped up inspection against MERS as the number of suspected cases increased to more than 30
– Four suspected cases were reported in private clinics in Tsing Yi, Central, Tsim Sha Tsui and Tung Chung
– A fake report claimed that the case in Tsing Yi was confirmed

Politics (general)

Public opinions for and against political reform level for the first time, study finds.
– The latest result of the joint-university rolling survey showed that opposition to the political reform package increased by 1.2% to 42.8%, the highest since the survey began in late April, while those who supported the proposal dropped 0.9% to see the two figures levelled for the first time
– Civic Party’s Ronny Tong doubted the credibility of the results but later apologised for his statement
– Meanwhile, a poll commissioned by Accountancy lawmaker Kenneth Leung suggested that opposition to the package outnumbered the supporters by 52.2% to 45.6% in the accountancy sector

Privacy Commissioner wary of the use of “big data” resembling Minority Report.
– Privacy Commissioner Allan Chiang warned of governments and corporations abusing their power to collect online data and information
– Chiang invoked the movie Minority Report, in which people are arrested before they commit crimes, and raised concerns over mismanaged development of the “big data”
– Chiang also called for the public to be careful when revealing the identities of patients of suspected MERS cases

Indian business figures hit out at Government’s plan to scrap visa waiver programme for compatriots.
– Prominent Indian business leaders in the city, including Chairman of the Indian Chamber of Commerce Rajkumar Sabnani, voiced their concerns about the Government’s plan to abolish the visa waiver programme for Indian nationals, saying that the move would turn potential business opportunities away from the city
– The move was said to combat the number of asylum seekers