High Tide (August 10th 2015) – Daily political round up

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CY Leung: HK must abandon non-interventionist policy; Felling of historical trees sparks public fury;
Pan-dems launch petition to investigate lead water scandal through P&P. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher

Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

CY Leung: HK must abandon non-interventionist policy
– In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Beijing’s mouthpiece, the HKSAR Chief Executive called the non-interventionist policy that has been in place since the 70’s “outdated”.
– While not offering any specifics, CY said the Government to be involved at an appropriate level.
– He said the the reform campaign took away time and resources from development, and Hong Kong has to make up for it now.
– He also took the chance to blame pan-dems for filibustering in LegCo.
– The CE suggested reclamation was the solution to the lack of land, and said the Government had “bold ideas” beyond reclaiming Victoria Harbour.

Labour department to help staff of collapsed retailer DSC
– Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, Secretary of Labour and Welfare revealed 350 employees have lodged claims to the Government against collapsed retailer DSC.
– The Secretary said DSC owes employees HK$10 million in outstanding wages, severance pay, and holidays.
– The Labour department has organised a meeting with employee representatives and the owners of DSC. The owners exited Hong Kong a day before the closure of DSC’s 14 stores.
– 900 employees became unemployed as a result of the collapse.

Pan-dems launch petition to investigate lead water scandal through P&P
– Democratic Party and ADPL legislators and members were gathering signatures at Kai Ching Estate to support their call to investigate the on-going lead water scandal in the Legislative Council under the Power and Privilege (P&P) Ordinance.
– Their slogans also urged their pro-establishment not to let the Government off the hook.

Political (General)

Felling of historical trees sparks public fury
– Residents of Sai Ying Pun and the general public expressed their outrage today at the decision to remove four beloved century-old banyan trees.
– About two dozen local residents and district councillors, including Democratic Party’s Hui Chi-fung protested against the decision.
– Professor Jim Chi-yong, chair professor of geography at the University of Hong Kong and member of the Government’s Expert Panel on Tree Management, criticised the Highways Department for not consulting the panel.
– The Highways Department states the decision was made due to “sudden developments” (突發情況), and for the safety of residents.
– The trees were felled late Friday night. It came more than a week after two passer-bys were hit when one of an original set of six trees collapsed during an amber rainstorm.

Universities to announce admission results today
– This year’s high school graduates will find out today whether they will be admitted to the University of their choice.
– 25,544 local students achieved minimum requirements to apply for a degree in this year’s DSE, 17,609 applicants have been admitted to government subsidized or self-funded degree programmes.