High Tide (July 15th 2015) – Daily political round up

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

Finance Committee passes 3 items in first day of extra meetings; Anthony Cheung apologises for miscommunications; ICAC officer approached Hacking Team on mobile surveillance. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Finance Committee marathon kicked off with just three items passed on the first day.
– The Finance Committee held (ch) three sections of extra meetings which will last until Saturday, totalling 28 hours of debate
– Only three items were approved in the first six hours of meetings, namely signature district projects, additional funding request for District Cooling System at the Kai Tak development, as well as an effluent polishing plant in Yuen Long
– The FTU’s Wong Kwok-hing again blasted radical Pan-dems for filibustering
– Three more items passed from the Public Works Subcommittee will be dealt with before progressing to the items relating to people’s livelihood and the controversial ITB

Anthony Cheung and Housing Director apologise for inconsistent information over excessive lead in drinking water.
– The Government released a short statement by Housing Director Stanley Ying, in which he “was sorry” that “confusion was caused by the inconsistent information given at different times by the Secretary for Transport and Housing and the Housing Department” regarding the cases of excessive lead found in drinking water in public housing estates
– Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung also apologised for the “confusion”
– It was reported that samples of excessive lead in water, with one sample exceeding the WHO level by five times, were found in another public housing estate in Kwai Chung of which the same licensed plumber was in charge of the pipelines binding sections
– The LegCo Panel on Housing will hold a special meeting to discuss the issue

Government announces HKD1.1bn plan to reform Hospital Authority.
– The Government announced (ch) a HKD1.17bn plan to help the Hospital Authority to undergo reforms in accordance to the report of the Steering Committee on Review of Hospital Authority released earlier
– It was reported that about HKD570m would be used to hire retiring medical staff will HKD300m would be allocated to the three hospital clusters(NT East; NT West; and Kowloon East) that lack resources
– Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man also noted that the Hospital Authority should “strengthen the roles of Coordinating Committees on clinical governance”

CY Leung: Beijing officials would read Hong Kong media reports.
– When commenting to media reports saying that Xinhua mentioned nothing about his meeting with NPCSC chairman Zhang Dejiang, CY Leung said (ch) that he was reporting facts to the media and that the Beijing officials would read Hong Kong’s media coverage
– Meanwhile, six lawmakers from the Democratic Party met with CY Leung and Chief Secretary Carrie Lam
– Party leader Emily Lau said the meeting focused on the safety of drinking water and described the meeting as a “candid” one

Political (General)

Student leaders Joshua Wong and Nathan Law report to police over obstructing officers.
– Joshua Wong, convenor of Scholarism, and Nathan Law, Secretary General of the Federation of Students, reported to the Western Police Station yesterday afternoon for the “arrest by appointment”
– Both Wong and Law were charged with obstructing police officers during a June 11 protest last year against the White Paper on the administration of Hong Kong
– Wong was told that he would face two charges and Law would face one

WikiLeaks: ICAC officer approached hacker firm for mobile remote surveillance software.
– It was reported (ch) that an ICAC officer once approached a hacker company based in Italy, showing interest in a remote control system that can monitor mobile phones
– The issue was unveiled as WikiLeaks disclosed over a million email conversations of the company, of which eight conversations were related to the ICAC officer
– ICAC later confirmed the identity of the officer but refused to give further comments on the issue
– IT lawmaker Charles Mok expressed concerns as the system would allow the anti-graft body to hack into one’s mobile devices rather than just intercepting communications

Hong Kong ranks as world’s 6th richest economy.
– Hong Kong was named 6th in the Global Finance‘s ‘World’s Riches Countries’ ranking
– According to the report, Hong Kong’s GDP per capita in 2013 was USD53,432, five times that of China which ranked 90th out of 184
– Qatar topped the list while Singapore (3rd) was the only Asian (excluding Middle East) country ahead of Hong Kong