High Tide (June 27th 2015) – Daily Political Round-up

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Financial Committee endorses HKD6.7bn one-off subsidies; Whistle-blower urged to stop Whatsapp friendly fire; Pan-dems to set up voter registration booths. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Finance Committee green light to HKD9bn worth of items in 6 hours.
– Finance Committee yesterday endorsed more than HKD9bn in funding requests, one of which was a HKD6.7bn worth of one-off payment for public housing tenants and social security recipients
– Other items approved included funding requests for a government data centre complex, first stage works of desalination plant at Tseung Kwan O, and the expansion of the Hong Kong Museum of Art
– When commenting on the works of the FC, CY Leung said, “I think the whole of Hong Kong expect members of the Legislative Council to give up filibustering…because filibustering has been wasting a great deal of time and energy”

MPFA to scrap adjustment mechanism proposal for MPF after receiving 99% objection.
– The Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (MPFA) announced that, after reviewing reactions from the public in the consultation period of adjustment mechanism proposal for MPF, it has decided to recommend against the move when reporting to the Government
– Among the 35075 submissions of feedback received, 34994 (over 99%) were submitted in the last two days of the consultation (March 4 and 5), of which the timing coincided with the spreading of an online message urging people to voice against the proposal
– Meanwhile, about 30 protesters urged the authorities to implement universal retirement protection when the Commission on Poverty held its sixth meeting in its second term

CY Leung proposes regularised meetings with parties.
– Liberal Party’s Felix Chung told (ch) reporters after meeting with CY Leung that the CE hoped to regularise meetings with political parties to send a goodwill message to repair the damaged executive-legislative relationship
– Civic Party also confirmed that they had been invited to meet on July 2 but were still under consideration

John Tsang to attend AIIB meeting in Beijing.
– Financial Secretary to depart for Beijing on Sunday to attend the Signing Ceremony of the Articles of Agreement of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and a ministerial meeting on Monday as a delegate of China
– Tsang visited Foshan in Guangdong Province earlier to communicate with senior officials there

Government defends criticism made in US’s human rights report.
– A official statement was released in response to the Hong Kong section in the US’s latest human rights report, reiterating that “constitutional development is entirely an internal affair of our Country, including the HKSAR. Foreign governments should respect this principle and should not interfere in any manner”
– The statement also touched upon areas including freedom of the press and speech, freedom of assembly and procession, as well as education services for non-Chinese speaking students
– Meanwhile, China hit back at the US by announcing its own report on the US’s human rights record, stressing on gun possession, torturing, racial discrimination and country-wide information surveillance

Political (General)

Whistle-blower in Whatsapp scandal urged to ‘stop the damage’ to pro-est camp.
– Speculations ran riot as to who provided the leaked Whatsapp conversation among pro-est lawmakers and NPC delegates
Director of the Liaison Office Zhang Xiaoming urged the whistle-blower to stop leaking out the information which would result in more scandals
– Possible candidates (ch) included independent lawmaker Paul Tse and Ng Leung-sing, New People’s Party’s Regina Ip, Liberal Party’s James Tien, FTU’s Chan Yuen-han, BPA’s Jeffrey Lam as well as CY Leung

MTR Board to submit report on high-speed rail link overrun amid triple breakdowns in one day.
– MTR Board was unable to confirm (ch) the latest adjustment of total overrun of the high-speed rail link but stated that a report will be submitted to the Government by early next week
– Meanwhile, passengers were left disgruntled as three breakdowns occurred within 7 hours (East Rail line at 7am; Airport Express at 12noon; Tong Chung line at 2pm) – in the first week the railway-property giant raised its fares

Pan-dems to set up booths for voter registration.
– Pan-dems announced (ch) that it will set up more than 50 booths on Sunday for voter registration as the deadline for registration approaches (July 2)
– Participating parties included the Power for Democracy, Democratic Party, Civic Party, Labour Party, Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood, and the Neo Democrats