High Tide (July 20th 2015) – Daily political round up

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ICAC confirms interest in purchase of intrusive system; Hong Kong lawyers petition against human rights arrests; Xinhua offers ‘tribute’ to John Tsang. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

CS: Government to consider replacement of all pipes in Kai Ching Estate.
– Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said (ch) the Government has provided clean drinking water to residents affected by excessive lead in water and was considering to replace all pipes in concerned public housing estates
– Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man noted (ch) more than 900 residents applied for blood test as he warned residents against treatments without proper consultation with medical professionals
– About 10 Democratic Party members marched to the Government Complex and urged the authorities to conduct lead tests in a public housing estate in Ngau Tau Kok

ICAC Commissioner confirms approach to Hacking Team on intrusive system. 
– ICAC chief Simon Peh confirmed the anti-graft body’s intention to purchase from the Milan-based Hacking Team an intrusive system that allows surveillance on mobile devices from a long distance
– Peh stressed that the body would like to keep updated about the latest products in the market and that all investigations are conducted in a legal manner
– Meanwhile, Peh noted that there was nothing to add to former CE Donald Tsang’s graft case while the investigation regarding former ICAC chief Timothy Tong was still under process

Labour Party candidate wins Tai Po DC by-election.
– Pan-dems won a skirmish (ch) in the upcoming DC elections as Kwok Wing-kin from the Labour Party declared victory in the Tai Po DC by-election, defeating Ho Man-kit and Lo Hiu-fung who were both supported by the pro-est camp

– The by-election was triggered as BPA’s Lo Sou-chour, former district councillor and father to Lo Hiu-fung, was found guilty in a fraud case
Political (General)

Hong Kong lawyers petition against human rights arrests in China.
– Hong Kong lawyers launched a global petition to denounce Beijing’s massive arrests and detentions of human rights lawyers
– The list saw all 13 former chairmen of the Hong Kong Bar Association except departed and current judges as well as Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen, current and former Legal lawmakers Dennis Kwok, Martin Lee and Margaret Ng, and all current 30 members of the Legal Subsector of the Election Committee for the Chief Executive
– The lawyers called upon the mainland authority to “respect the constitutional rights of all the detained lawyers and their clients” and “stop any unlawful or arbitrary conduct against the lawyers’ offices or the lawyers and others related to them”

John Tsang odds to become CE rise as Xinhua offers appreciation.
– After a widely-interpreted handshake with President Xi Jinping, Financial Secretary John Tsang’s effort to promote the “one belt, one road” initiative was acknowledged (ch) in an 2300-word-article published in Xinhua
– The undersigned of the article included head of Xinhua News Agency Hong Kong Branch Ju Mengjun
– Political commentators and several lawmakers saw this as a sign that Beijing is looking for a candidate to replace CY Leung as the next Chief Executive

DAB to meet with top officials in Beijing.
– About 30 DAB members, including all 13 lawmakers will depart (ch) for Beijing on Wednesday
– Party chairwoman Starry Lee said they will visit the State Council’s Office of Hong Kong and Macao Affairs, the National Development and Reform Commission, the United Front Work Department, and will probably meet with several top officials including NPCSC chairman Zhang Dejiang
– Lee also said that the lawmakers will apologise to the officials for their blunder during the vote on the political reform proposal