High Tide (June 28th 2015) – Daily Political Round-up

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Jasper Tsang unmoved by vote of no confidence; The House (Committee) Divided over new deputy chairman to replace Ronny Tong; Equality commission head calls for discussion on same-sex marriage legislation. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Jasper Tsang unmoved by a likely vote of no confidence.
– Jasper Tsang said he would resign his post as the LegCo president if most lawmakers vote to bring him down
– Albert Chan and Raymond Chan from People Power are set to move a non-binding vote of no confidence in the House Committee but they will have to secure an unlikely support of at least half of all 35 lawmakers from the functional constituencies for the impeachment to be endorsed
– Tsang meanwhile said (ch) he was invited by the pro-est camp to join its Whatsapp group and would accordingly be happy to be added to the pan-dems’ one

Anthony Cheung admits needs to review Government’s approach on high-speed rail link for future cases.
– Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung refused (ch) to comment on rumours over the actual overrun of the high-speed rail link Hong Kong section but admitted that the authorities would have to review its approach to assign major construction tasks to the MTR Corp without public tendering for future cases
– Neo Democrats’ Gary Fan called (ch) on the Government to include the MTR Corp’s income from its property business when reviewing the fares adjustment mechanism
– Meanwhile, Cheung acknowledged that current progress on public housing provision was lagging behind its 10-year plan to provide 290,000 units but stressed that its only a target while the Government would work to secure more lands

Secretary for Education defends TSA scheme.
– Secretary for Education Eddie Ng said the Territory-wide System Assessment in primary schools was welcomed by many schools and teachers, stressing that there is no differentiation and identification of individual students’ performance
– Ng said, “there is no need…[to] put a lot of pressure on specific exercises. You just cannot do it. It is for basic assessment”
– A report by a teachers’ group earlier reveal that majority of their colleagues feel pressured under the scheme

The ‘House (Committee) Divided’ over deputy chairmanship.
– Civic Party’s Alan Leong said (ch) pro-est lawmakers have made it clear that they would not accept Democratic Party’s Sin Chung-kai and Professional Commons’ Kenneth Leung to assume the role of deputy chairman of the House Committee
– Leong slammed the pro est as Ip Kwok-him from the DAB once ‘blacklisted’ Labour Party’s Lee Cheuk-yan and Cyd Ho back in 2012
– Outgoing Ronny Tong is the current deputy chairman of the committee
– Leong meanwhile confirmed that the Civic Party will meet with CY Leung on Thursday

CY Leung notes drop in cases of youth drug abuse.
– CY Leung, when officiating at the opening ceremony of the anti-drug event “Anti-drug Alliance 2015”, noted (ch) that the number of drug abuse cases have dropped by 13% in 2014 while the figure was among youth was 35%
– Anti-drug programmes including promotion campaigns and healthy activities will be rolled out

Green minibus fare concession extended to cover 91% of routes.
– Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung said the public transport fare concession scheme is extended to 55 more green minibus routes starting from today
– Cheung said the scheme will cover 91% of all green minibus routes and there are currently 880,000 people benefiting from the scheme with government subsidies reaching HKD900m

Political (General)

Equality commission head calls for discussion on same-sex marriage as the rainbow flags are hoisted in the US.
– In response to an earlier decision by the US Supreme Court to legalise same-sex marriage across the country, Chairman of the Equal Opportunities Commission York Chow called on the public to discuss more on the issue in Hong Kong as it is “inescapable”
– A local christian organisation, the Society for Truth and Light, meanwhile mocked (ch) the decision and Chow’s remark, describing the former as “a vote by 9 judges to decide the marriage institution for 300 million people”