High Tide (August 3rd 2015) – Daily political round up

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SFH leads first city-cleaning initiative; Ousted civil service minister has “no regrets”; Protesters out wearing bras over ‘breast assault’ conviction. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Ko Wing-man leads first cleaning initiative in Wan Chai – after cleaners did their job.
– Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man became the first minister to get his hands dirty as the Government launched a city-wide cleaning campaign
– Ko and accompanying officials and district councillors were out cleaning an alley for about 10 minutes and distributing cleaning packs to the public under the Canal Road West flyover
– Before the cleaning event was officially started, government contractors werespotted washing streets under the flyover while shopkeepers in the nearby Bowrington Road Market were asked to keep their stores tidy

Ousted minister has “no regrets”, noting neutrality among civil servants.
– Former Secretary for the Civil Service Paul Tang spoke out for the first time after resigning from the post, urging Clement Cheung, his successor, to safeguard civil servants’ political neutrality
– Rumours suggested that Tang was removed from the cabinet for refusing to punish those who support the Umbrella Movement inside the system
– When asked to comment on his departure, Tang said he has “no regrets” and stressed that civil servants, except those who hold sensitive positions, have the rights to express their views as long as political neutrality is upheld when carrying out tasks

Outgoing privacy chief urges successor to continue fighting for rights to trace source of personal data.
– Outgoing Privacy Commissioner Allan Chiang said (ch) his successor, Stephen Wong, should continue to strive for legislation which would grant citizens the rights to trace the source of their personal information obtained by a third party
– Chiang meanwhile dismissed criticisms that he was serving the rich by proposing tighter control over the availability of corporate information, stressing that the move would protect one-seventh of the city’s population from risking their data being abused

Political (General)

Protesters out with bras to show discontent over ‘breast assault’ conviction.
– About 100 people gathered outside the police’s headquarter in Wan Chai, some, including men, wearing bras in protest of an earlier court decision which sentenced a woman to a three-and-a-half-month imprisonment for assaulting a police officer with her breast during an anti-parallel traders protest
– The crowd shouted “breast is not a weapon” and feared that the case could be a precedent to discourage women from participating in protests
– Meanwhile, pro-democracy groups and lawmakers were petitioning (ch) in Causeway Bay against the massive arrests and detentions of human rights lawyers by the mainland authorities

Drinking water victims urge for swift actions to tackle lead issue.
– About 200 people from the Drinking Water Victims Alliance gathered (ch) outside the Government Complex and the Chief Executive’s Office, urging the Government to take prompt actions to change all water pipes in lead-tainted estates
– Convenor of the Alliance, Wan Siu-kin, said there was a lack of trust toward the independent task force initiated by CY Leung
– It was earlier reported that Leung may not appoint a judge to head the task force, contrary to what he promised when commenting on the body’s impartiality

Education lawmaker blasts “illegal building work” over HKU senior appointment scandal.
– Convenor of the University of Hong Kong’s alumni concern group and Education lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen slammed (ch) the HKU Council’s decision to delay the appointment of pro-democracy scholar Johannes Chan as its pro-vice chancellor until a provost was appointed, comparing it to an “illegal building work” as the idea to “wait for provost” was not raised until the whole selection procedure was over
– Meanwhile, Professor Lo Chung-mau said HKU should “say no to politics” while criticising students for not expressing their views in a rational way
– Lo was one of those who voted in favour of the deferral and whose collapse during the chaos when students stormed the Council’s meeting was mocked as a footballer’s ‘dive’