High Tide (July 8th 2015) – Daily political round up

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“Total war” as CY Leung demands for extra FC meetings; Former SCED to chair MTR board; Govt set to regulate “gutter oils”. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Radical pan-dems warns of “total war” in wake of refreshed attempt By CY Leung to push through ITB.
– People Power’s Albert Chan and Raymond Chan hinted that they will launch a “total war” of filibustering in the Finance Committee after CY Leung requested the committee to hold meetings totalling 28 hours in five consecutive days next week to push through the HKD39m funding proposal for the Innovation and Technology Bureau
– Labour Party’s Lee Cheuk-yan also blasted Leung for “adding meetings violently”
– Pro-est camp defended Leung’s move, with the exception of Liberal Party’s James Tien, Vincent Fang and Frankie Yick who will not be in town next week and have no intention to return for the meetings

Government set to regulate use of “gutter oils” through legislation.
– Government has launched a three-month consultation over regulating edible fats and oils
– Under the new regulation, it was proposed that no “gutter oils” (or “waste cooking oils”) should be used  as ingredients for edible fats and oils
– Parties that engage in the collection, disposal and import/export of “gutter oils” without a licence will face a fine or imprisonment over conviction

Lawmakers block proposal to cap amount of undeclared cash carried by travellers.
– Pan-dem lawmakers joint their pro-est counterparts at a Panel on Security meeting toblock a government proposal to cap the amount of undeclared cash carried by travellers when crossing the border at USD15,000 (around HKD116,000)
– Hong Kong is the only member of the International Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering that is yet to implement the policy
– Legislators questioned the effectiveness of the measure in combating money laundering while noting that mainland tourists would be affected
– Meanwhile, members of the Panel on Transport debated (ch) the issue of private carriage apps such as Uber and GoGoVan and urged the Government to provide data over unlicensed carriage prosecutions and to address the problem of speculations of taxi licences

Frederick Ma to chair MTR Corp’s board of directors.
– Former Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Frederick Ma has been appointed by the Government to replace Raymond Ch’ien Kuo-fung as the Chairman of the MTR Corp’s board of directors with effect from January 1, 2016, for a term of three years
– Ma was a non-executive director of the board between 2002 and 2007 and rejoined the Corp as an independent non-executive director since 2013
– Ma was earlier tasked by the MTR Corp to lead a committee to investigate the delay of the high-speed rail link and criticised former MTR CEO Jay Walder for the blunder

Political (General)

Protests outside Japanese consulate on Marco Polo Bridge Incident anniversary.
– Several groups, including the DAB, the Democratic Party and the Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands, were protesting (ch) outside the Japanese consulate on the 78th anniversary of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident
– The Japanese consulate received the letter from DAB but not the ones from the other two groups
– On July 7, 1937, the Japanese army stormed Marco Polo Bridge and near Beijing, marking the beginning of the second Sino-Japanese War

Lau Wong-fat, Christopher Chung and Ronny Tong named in list of absentee lawmakers.
– It was reported (ch) that several lawmakers, including Lau Wong-fat, Christopher Chung and Ronny Tong, have very poor attendance rate in committee and panel meetings
– Christopher Chung, for example, has attendance rates of below 40% for three of the committees that he was assigned to while Ronny Tong only attended 38% and 17% of the Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services and Subcommittee on Retirement Protection respectively
– Chung explained that he was too focused on other meetings while Tong was not in town for a response

On Parallel Traders
Blogger Lost Dutch headed out to the fabled Meat Street in Sheung Shui to see parallel traders repacking frozen meat in the summer heat. You’ll never eat meat in China again.