High Tide (July 7th 2015) – Daily political round up

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KC Chan calls for vigilance in face of stock market slump; Joshua Wong to face charge over white paper protest last June. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


 

Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

KC Chan calls for vigilance in face of stock market slump.
– Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury KC Chan urged investor to keep vigilant in face of volatility in the stock market, during which the Hang Seng Index and the HKEx saw sharpest fall in three years and eight years respectively alongside other shares
– Chan pinned the slump on fear of Grexit following the Greek referendum as well as volatility in the A shares market

Wong Yuk-man’s 89 amendments to September 3 special holiday bill rejected ahead of meeting.
– Independent lawmaker Wong Yuk-man’s 89 amendments to the Special Holiday (September 3) bill had all been turned down (ch) by the LegCo Secretariat ahead of the Second Reading debate
– The Government is proposing making Spetember 3, 2015, a special holiday to commemorate the victory of WWII
– LegCo President Jasper Tsang explained that all amendments from Wong Yuk-man, which suggested setting up a holiday for a different event on a different day, were irrelevant to the current proposal
– Wong said he wanted to raise public awareness over the debate while there was not intention to filibuster as he knew that the amendments would get blocked

Government plans to ban import and selling of e-cigarettes.
– The Panel on Health Services held a special meeting to discuss (ch) the Government’s proposal to strengthen tobacco control
– Under Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said the Government will seek ban on the import and selling of e-cigarettes through legislation if the public supports the move
– Meanwhile, lawmakers in the Panel on Housing expressed (ch) concerns over the low enforcement rate against refinancing of Home Ownership Scheme flats with premium unpaid

Task force proposes professionalised model for vocational education.
– The Task Force on Promotion of Vocational Education submitted a report to the Education Bureau
– Proposed measures include rebranding vocational education and training as “vocational and professional education and training (VPET)” and promotion of professional image of VPET
– Secretary for Education Eddie Ng, meanwhile, noted (ch) that the total number of Form One classes in the coming school year is expected to be cut by 41 classes while stressing that there is no need to lengthen the measure to protect teachers from being sacked as the number of students is expected to recover in 2017/2018

CY Leung hailed partnership with DAB.
– When delivering a speech at the 23rd anniversary party of DAB, CY Leung praised the pro-establishment party for its influence and support from the public, describing the party as a “significant partner” of the Government
– Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, meanwhile, visited four families in two flats under the Light Home scheme designed to help single-parent families

Political (General)

Joshua Wong set to be charged with obstructing police officers during last year’s protest against white paper.
– Scholarism’s Joshua Wong and three other student activists were told to report to police and will face charges over obstructing police officers during the protest against Beijing’s white paper on Hong Kong last June
– Wong said he did not expect the Police to pick the case and blasted the move as political prosecution and a “white terror”

Taxi drivers urge to scrap unlicensed private carriage in slow-drive protest.
– About 50 taxi drivers staged a slow-drive protest to the Government Complex and urged the authorities to tackle unlicensed private carriage, Uber and GoGoVan to be specific, as they claimed that the business is illegal and has created serious impacts on the industry
– The Transport Department responded by stating that “no person shall drive or use a private car for the carriage of passengers for hire or reward unless a hire car permit is in force in respect of the vehicle” and that “offender is liable to fine and imprisonment”