High Tide (July 9th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Buildings Department under fire; Radical pan-dems ready to filibuster at Finance Committee meetings; Cabbies: Catch me if you can. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Lawmakers blast Buildings Department over inefficiency in removing illegal structures.
– The Public Accounts Committee reported at the LegCo general meeting that it will following up on three cases, including the Buildings Department’s inefficiency in removing illegal structures, insufficient manpower for the Government Flying Service, as well as the blunder in improving vacancy rates in public cooked food markets
– The committee slammed the Buildings Department in particular as reports of illegal structures had risen by 67% while removals had dropped by 45% over the past 10 years, stressing that the figures were “unacceptable” considering the fact that the department had received almost HKD3bn since 2001 to do the job
– The committee proposed an amnesty for those illegal structures that would not constitute immediate danger, but members noted that there was no consensus to the suggestion yet

Democratic Party supports making Sept 3 a special holiday.
– Legislators have started debating on the Government’s proposal to make Sept 3 as a special holiday in commemoration to the victory of WWII
– Democratic Party’s Sin Chung-kai said (ch) his party would support the bill while urging the Government set the number of statutory holiday at 17 days
– Liberal Party’s Tommy Cheung, meanwhile, argued that the industries had not been properly consulted and that the Sept 3 holiday should be an one-off proposal
– Picks for today’s LegCo questions: 1) National Security Law; 2) International school places; 3) Events involving use of powder; 4) Airport’s north commercial district

Request to hold extra FC meetings to be decided.
– Finance Committee’s chairman Tommy Cheung is expected to announce (ch) today the decision whether there will be extra meetings totalling 28 hours next week upon the request of CY Leung
– Civic Party’s Alan Leong, after meeting with other pan-dem lawmakers, decribed Leung’s move as “moral degeneration (禮崩樂壞)”
– Power Power’s Albert Chan said he would request splitting 10 separate items from the Public Works Subcommittee bundle for debate while his former colleague Wong Yuk-man said he has already prepared a few hundred motions for the upcoming meetings
– Meanwhile, CY Leung will visit Shenzhen on Friday with senior officials – Nicholas Yang, candidate for the Secretary for Innovation and Technology is also in the list

Political (General)

Groups urge to investigate case of airport worker in a fatal traffic accident after 22-hour shift.
– Lawmakers and workers’ welfare concern groups expressed concern over a fatal traffic accident in which an airport worker was killed in a car driven by his colleague after 22-hour shift
– Labour Party’s Lee Cheuk-yan said both the company, the Gammon Construction, and the Government should be held responsible for the tragedy
– Gammon Construction denied the unreasonably long hour shift, claiming that all workers would have six-hour rest after working overnight

Green cab: Catch me if you can!
– From Cable News – This is how hard (ch) it can be to catch a green taxi in northern part of the New Territories. A justification that we need Uber?