High Tide (July 28th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Logistic official admits cheating of HKD4.2m allowances; HKU Council set to review senior appointment delay. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Logistic director pleaded guilty for cheating government of HKD4.2m of housing allowances.
– Leung Chiu-ping, Controller (Land Transport) of the Logistic Department, pleaded guilty to a fraud case in which he defrauded the government of HKD4.2m of housing allowances
– It was reported that Leung was granted a Home Financing Scheme monthly allowance to rent a flat at Laguna City in Kwun Tong, of which he moved out in April 1994 but submitted false documents to show that he was still living in the flat from October to November 1994
– Leung confessed to his superior last year ahead of a promotion interview and was suspended from his post last May

Lawmakers slam dodgy Hongkong Post.
– The LegCo’s Panel on Economic Development criticises (ch) the Hongkong Post for refusing to disclose reports of an ill-fated plan to reform the postal service in 2008, which included details of a cash flow of HKD4m as consultation fee
– Postmaster General Jessie Ting Yip Yin-mei noted that the reports contain confidential information
– Ting also dismissed the suggestion to introduce post code system into the city
– Lawmakers also slammed the Post for over-recruiting employees who were on contract bases
– Meanwhile, BPA’s Priscilla Leung and Helena Wong from Democratic Party visitedthe pedestrian connection facilities between the West Kowloon Terminus of the Express Rail Link and the adjoining developments

Task force chairman dismisses connection between tendering and tainted water.
– Cheung Tat-tong, chairman of a new committee under the Housing Authority to review the existing quality control and works supervision of water supplies at public housing estates, dismissed claims that blamed cheap building works for the lead-tainted water issues
– Cheung stressed that contracts were not awarded to the lowest bidders by default
– The Democratic Party, meanwhile, is planning to form an organisation (ch) for the residents affected by the scandal

Political (General)

HKU Council set to review decision to defer managerial appointment of pro-democracy scholar.
– The Council of the University of Hong Kong was set to discuss today the decision to defer the appointment of pro-vice-chancellor as Council Chairman Edward Leong Che-hung vowed to bring the issue to the table
– Leong’s call came hours after a HKU alumni concern group announced it had collected some 2500 signatories, urging the school’s governing body to stop delaying the appointment
– Former Ming Pao editor-in-chief Kevin Lau Chun-to claimed (ch) the Liaison Office and senior officials, including former education minister Arthur Li who was earlier appointed to the Council by CY Leung, have interfered in the appointment of pro-democracy scholar Johannes Chan to assume to role

Information Coordinator challenges CUHK survey results over CY Leung’s popularity.
– Information Coordinator of the CE Office Fung Wai-kwong challenged (ch) the results of a recent survey conducted by the Chinese University which showed 56.6% ‘do not want’ CY Leung to be re-elected
– Fung argued that the survey should not include participants aging between 15 and 17
– The Research Centre rebutted the claim by showing that there was a mere 0.6% difference in the outcome even if the age group under concern is omitted
– Fung is widely speculated to be one of the “stupid officials” and “pig-like teammates” described by LegCo president Jasper Tsang

China & World

Hong Kong’s anti-trafficking efforts remain sub-optimal, Washington reports.
– The US ranked Hong Kong in the 2nd-tier group, on a par with Ethiopia and Iraq, for the seventh consecutive year in Washington’s latest report on trafficking in persons (TIP)
– The city was identified as “a destination, transit, and source territory for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor” while the Hong Kong Government “does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking”
– A Government spokesman responded by stating that “there exist certain descriptions which do not fully reflect the unfailing commitment and continuous efforts of the HKSAR Government in the fight against human trafficking” and disagreed in particular that Hong Kong acts as a hub for the activities