High Tide (June 15th 2015) – Daily Political Round-up

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HK “one step ahead” in MERS measures; Turnout of anti-reform march falls short of estimate; ‘Long Hair’ urged to clarify alleged bribery. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Ko Wing-man: Hong Kong is one step ahead in anti-MERS measures.
– Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man met with two local experts who returned after joining a World Health Organisation’s mission to South Korea to study the MERS outbreak
– Ko said he was told that there was no evidence of a community outbreak and stressed Hong Kong was “one step ahead” in formulating anti-MERS measures
– 22 out of 23 suspected cases of MERS recorded by the Centre for Health Protection between Saturday noon and Sunday noon were negative while the remaining one was pending

Politics (general)

Anti-reform package protesters march to LegCo despite falling short of original estimate.
– About 3,500 protesters marched to LegCo with thousands hoisting yellow umbrellas in protest against the political reform package
– There were exchanges of words when the protesters came close to some supporters of the package but the two sides were separated by the Police
– Organisers of the march admitted that the turnout fell well short of the original 50,000 estimate
– Meanwhile, police officers moved a few vacant tents outside LegCo, claiming that these tents were blocking the pedestrian road‘Long Hair’ urged to clarify alleged bribery.
– CY Leung slammed lawmaker ‘Long Hair’ Leung Kwok-hung for making up “serious claim” of a HKD100m figure that he was offered by a middleman to support the reform package
– The CE urged ‘Long Hair’ to explain whether he had made up only the figure or the entire story and to report to the ICAC if he was telling the truth
– Leung also commented (ch) on a recent public opinion survey conducted by the University of Hong Kong which showed that supporters of the political reform outnumbered the opposition by 50% to 33%, renewing his calls for the public to carefully compare and examine various opinion polls

Audience turn against political reform after broadcast debate between pan-dems and Beijing loyalists.
– A televised debate on political reform was organised by the RTHK and the University of Hong Kong between three pan-dems and three Beijing loyalists
– The attendants were Alan Leong, Emily Lau and Charles Mok on the one side, and Starry Lee, James Tien and Priscilla Leung on the other side
– Before the debate, 49% of an audience of 188 people said they wanted lawmakers to vote down the package while 42% supported it
– The figures changed to 54% and 38% after the debate
– Chief Secretary Carrie Lam expressed “sadness” while admitting that the chance of passing the package was slim and made a final appeal to the pan-dems that they should “take into account the broad and long-term interest of Hong Kong and change their mind”