High Tide (July 25th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Water filters to be installed in tainted estates; UK minister secures meetings with HK top officials – at last; 57% ‘do not want’ a second Leung administration. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

STH: Water filters to be installed for lead-tainted estates.
– Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung announced that water filters will be installed in flats at three lead-tainted public housing estates namely Kai Ching Estate, Kwai Luen Estate and Wing Cheong Estate
– The main contractors for the estates will bear the cost and be responsible for the installation and future replacement of the filters
– Cheung also announced extension of water tests to all public housing estates completed between 2005 to 2010, comprising 84000 units
– Meanwhile, the Housing Authority revealed the terms and membership of a review committee to “conduct a health check on the HA’s system for quality control and works supervision”
– The committee will be headed by Cheung Tat-tong who is also the chairman of the HA’s Tender Committee

CY Leung receives UK Foreign & Commonwealth Minister six months after snubbed talks.
– Mr Hugo Swire, Minister of State at the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, paid his second ministerial visit to Hong Kong after being snubbed in a “fuming” January trip in the midst of the political reform debates
– This time the UK minister was able to secure meetings with CY Leung, Financial Secretary John Tsang, Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung, legislators and investors as well as the Airport Authority Chief Executive Fred Lam
– Swire said, “I am delighted to be back in Hong Kong – it is one of the UK’s most important international partners, and we remain closely connected by our business, educational and cultural ties. A lot has happened since I was last here and I’ve had a number of productive meetings today, including with the Chief Executive CY Leung.”

Government appoints new privacy commissioner.
– The Government announced the appointment of Stephen Wong Kai-yi as the new Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data with effect from August 4
– Wong will succeed the outgoing privacy commissioner Allan Chiang who will have his contract expired on August 3
– Wong is currently a practicing barrister who served the in the Department of Justice as legal counsel from 1986 to 2007 and was the Secretary to the Law Reform Commission of Hong Kong from 2012 to 2014

New advisory body on three-runway system set up.
– The Government established the Aviation Development and Three-runway System Advisory Committee comprising five ex-officio members and 20 non-official members
– The ADTAC is chaired by the Secretary for Transport and Housing and will replace the existing Aviation Development Advisory Committee with “extended membership and terms of reference”
– The advisory body will provide recommendations on broad policy matters “concerning Hong Kong’s civil aviation and the development of Hong Kong International Airport, as well as issues concerning the implementation of the three-runway system (3RS)”

Government issues warning letters to auto repair shop operators in residential buildings.
– The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Buildings Department and Labour Department issued (ch) a joint statement to auto repair shop operators, warning that no auto repair activities were allowed in residential buildings under the Buildings Ordinance
– The notice also stressed that operators who ignored a statutory order to cease their business could face prosecution and could be sentenced to a maximum of one-year imprisonment and HKD50,000 charge
– It was estimated that there are about 3,000 auto repair shop operators in such buildings

Political (General)

57% ‘do not want’ second Leung administration as pro-Beijing newspaper backs ousted home affairs minister.
– A study conducted by the Chinese University found that 56.6% of Hongkongers ‘do not want‘ CY Leung to be re-elected as Chief Executive while only 11.8% preferred the opposite
– Of those who do not want CY Leung to be re-elected, 73.5% said they do not know who should assume the role, 6.1% backed Financial Secretary John Tsang while 3.4% and 2.4% supported Chief Secretary Carrie Lam and Civic Party’s Alan Leong respectively
– Celebrities such as Andy Lau, Chow Yun-fat and Dayo Wong were also on the list
– Meanwhile, pro-Beijing newspapers such as Sing Tao Daily and Ta Kung Pao were indirectly expressing their discontent with CY Leung on the shocked removal of two top ministers
Ta Kung Pao published an commentary praising former Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing who was also the newspaper’s former chief editor while Sing Tao Daily revealed (ch) that both Tsang and ousted civil service minister Paul Tang were abruptly asked by CY Leung to come up with a proper reason for their “resignation” last Friday