High Tide (July 29th 2015) – Daily political round up

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HKU Council upholds decision to “wait for provost”; ATV fined for false report; Privacy Commissioner warns of “malicious use” of public registers. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

New home affairs minister has no intention to quit DAB.
– Lau Kong-wah, the new Secretary for Home Affairs and former DAB vice chairman,said (ch) he did not intend to resign his party membership since he was only a supporting member and have no voting rights inside the party
– Chief Secretary Carrie Lam inspected cleaning work at Lap Sap Wan (lit. rubbish bay) as a prologue to the ‘Cleaning Hong Kong 2015@Hong Kong Our Home’ campaign headed by Lam
– Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung, meanwhile, defended his efforts on “protecting the interests and the well-being of foreign domestic helpers” as a response to a recent human trafficking report published by the US

Outgoing privacy commissioner warns of “malicious use” of public registers.
– Allen Chiang, current Privacy Commissioner who will have his contract expired next Monday, inspected 10 most commonly used public registers and found that eight of them lack proper legislative and administration safeguards against misuses
– The eight registers contain details concerning bankruptcies, births, businesses, companies, land, marriages, notices of intended marriages and licensed persons registered by the Securities and Futures Commission
– Chiang urged the government to tighter control over these registers
– The Hong Kong Journalist Association issued a statement (ch) shortly after Chiang’s remarks and reiterated its opposition against limited assess to the information, citing past findings that previous cases of data abuse had nothing to do with companies register searches

Political (General)

Two HKU Councillors sent to hospital as decision to delay senior appointment upheld.
– Students forced their way into the HKU Council’s meeting room after the Councilannounced that the decision to delay the appointment of pro-democracy scholar Johannes Chan as the university’s pro-vice-chancellor would remain
– Students surrounded the councillors, not allowing the latter to leave and shouting (ch) “appoint pro-vice-chancellor!” and “Shameful!”, targeting in particular former education minister Arthur Li
– Arthur Li blasted the students for their “Cultural Revolution-like” acts
– Dr Lo Chung-mau, one of the councillors who backed the deferral, fell to the ground but students blocked the way to ambulance for about 30 minutes
– Another councillor Ayesha Macpherson was also sent to hospital after claiming feeling unwell
– Council Chairman Edward Leong and Vice-Chairman Peter Mathieson stayed behind and promised to the students that a decision can be made in September
– The Education Bureau damned (ch) the protest as disrupting the running of the institute

ATV fined HKD300,000 for false report over HKTV chief purchase.
– The Communications Authority announced a decision to impose a penalty of HKD300,000 on ATV Broadcast for making false report that its major investor Wong Ching, and his relative, Wong Ben-koon, would sell their stakes to Ricky Wong’s Hong Kong Television Network
– The troubled station was also fined a separate HKD50,000 for failing to submit its 2014 audited accounts

CLP announces HKD1.2bn rebate plan amid drop in fuel prices.
– Hong Kong CLP announced a rebate plan totalling HKD1.2bn for more than two million electricity users citing a drop in fuel prices
– A household that used 300 units per month over the past six months can receive a rebate of HKD144
– A green group chief said the move is an appeasement ahead of negotiations with the government over the post-2018 regulatory framework
– It was also pointed (ch) out that CLP should not have raised the electricity prices last year with an estimation of a rise in fuel prices in the first place