High Tide (June 21st 2015) – Daily Political Round-up

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SECD welcomes largest cruise ship ever berthed at HK; HK Fathers struggle to spend time with kids; CY Leung meets with Young DAB. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


 

Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Government welcomes largest cruise ship ever berthed at Hong Kong.
– Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So welcomed the arrival of the Quantum of the Seas at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, the largest cruise ship that has ever docked in Hong Kong
– So said the Government is keen to develop Hong Kong’s cruise tourism and that cruise ships from 10 to 17 lines will berth in the city in 2015 and 2016 respectively

Paul Chan denies connection between Hung Sui Kiu development timetable and upcoming District Council elections. 
– Secretary for Development Paul Chan said (ch) the authorities hoped to apply for funding on Hung Sui Kiu land resumption works by 2016 and that the first batch of residential housings in the development project was expected to be available by 2024
– When asked whether the Government was concerned about stirring up more controversies before the upcoming District Council elections, Chan stressed that there are legal procedures that have to be gone through before tabling the project and hence there was nothing to do with the elections
– Meanwhile, it was reported (ch) that at least five villages in Hung Sui Kiu would have to be removed while the lands would be redeveloped into recreational and cultural use

Diplomat

Ethiopia’s top diplomat in Hong Kong to backs down over ivory trade advocacy.
– Ethiopian Honorary Consul-General Dennis Ng Wang-pun has vowed to come in line with Addis Ababa’s official stance and stop advocating ivory trade
– Ng earlier sparked discontent as he wrote letters to Hong Kong officials urging them not to ban the trade and destroy the city’s illicit ivory stockpile
– Ethiopian representatives to Beijing later stated that the embassy “is confident that the Ethiopian honorary consulate general in Hong Kong would not publicly or otherwise engage in any advocacy campaign for the promotion of the ivory trade”

Political (General)

More than half of Hong Kong fathers spend less than 30 minutes a day a day with their children, study finds.
– A Federation of Trade Unions survey conducted this month found that 55.6% of Hong Kong fathers spent less than 30 minutes a day with their kids and 1.7% more said they have no time to do so compared to last year’s findings
– About half of the participants asked for legislation of standard working hours and overtime payment
– Meanwhile, the CSSA Alliance found (ch) that about 40% of low-income families were not able to cover their spending and 80% were discontent with the Government’s anti-poverty measures

Divergence among pro-democratic camp over what to be achieved after the political reform debate.
– Civil Human Rights Front and Scholarism suggested (ch) fighting to revise the Basic Law and to redefine Hong Kong’s status and relations with Beijing as the next steps following the dramatic end of the political reform debate
– Democratic Party and Labour Party, however, tended to reserve their views on the move and argue that they would only support the revision as far as CE and LegCo elections are concerned
– Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China held (ch) a march to the Liaison Office and called for the release of three mainland activists

Young pro-est encouraged to voice their opinion.
– While the pro-establishment camp remained divided (ch) over who should take responsibility for the embarrassment during reform package vote, about 20 members of the Young DAB met (ch) with CY Leung to share with Leung the work of the organisation
– Chairman Ngan Man-yu said the meeting was not about political reform as it was scheduled before the vote
– Leung encouraged the members to voice their opinion over Hong Kong’s social and economic issues

Ming Pao: Housing estate “advised” to be autonomous over tree removal.
– It was reported (ch) that a owners’ corporation of a housing estate in Kowloon Tong had removed 28 trees after hearing recommendations from a gardening company based on economic considerations
– The OC earlier received a reply from the Lands Department “advising” that “except for redevelopment of the lot, approval from the Lands Department is not required for any proposed tree removal under the Government lease”
– The Lands Department explained that the concerned lease was in place before the tree preservation clause was introduced in the 1970s