High Tide (August 11th 2015) – Daily political round up

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DAB considers invoking LegCo’s special power to probe lead-in-water scandal; US CG urges HK to return to “moderate mainstream” path; Seven more trees axed. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


 

Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

DAB considers invoking LegCo’s special power to probe lead-in-water scandal.
– DAB’s chairwoman Starry Lee and lawmaker Ben Chan met with Chief Secretary Carrie Lam yesterday concerning the government’s slow progress over the setting up of an independent task force to probe the lead-in-water (ch) scandal
– Lee said her party would consider to support invoking the LegCo’s special power to launch an investigation if the committee’s works remain stalled
– The pro-est party earlier blocked the proposal by Democratic Party’s Wu Chi-wai to initiate an investigation
– DAB’s Gary Chan urged (ch) the government to tackle abandoned and dangerous signboards with more than 100 of such cases identified in eight districts

Town Planning Board receives more than 300 objections to TST harbourfront refinement plan.
– A development plan by New World Development to refine (ch) the harbourfront Tsim Sha Tsui East received 337 letters of objection from nearby shops and the Kowloon Shangri-la Hotel
– The plan would see the Avenue of Stars and then Salisbury Garden closed for three and two years respectively
– It was also worried that the construction of a 13-metre-high building would block the harbour view

Diplomat

Cliffod Hart calls on Hong Kong to return to its “pragmatic and moderate mainstream” hallmarks.
– US Consul-General Clifford Hart urged Hongkongers to go back to the “pragmatic and moderate mainstream” path after a “bursting” and polarising debate in achieving full democracy
– Hart, meanwhile, dismissed suggestion that the city was becoming ungovernable – and speculations from pro-est camp that the US consulate hosted a 1,000-strong team

Political (General)

Government takes ‘swift’ action as it cuts seven more trees.
– Seven trees in Kwun Tong were removed (ch) after the sneaky axing of four trees on Bonham Road which sparked public discontent
– Professor Jim Chi-yung from the University of Hong Kong expected that more trees would be cut in the future as the government seeks to prevent these trees from collapsing by removing them once and for all

Allan Zeman raises money for charity in the blink of an eye.
– Lan Kwai Fong Group chairman Allan Zeman continued last year’s ice bucket challenge by blinking his eye at the kick-off ceremony of a new charity challenge to raise money for patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)
– Zeman nominated former Financial Secretary Antony Leung, as well as former and current Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Frederick Ma and Gregory So to take the challenge
– The organiser is aiming to raise HKD500,000 from the event

Non-Chinese speakers ineligible for most of non-degree higher education, study finds.
– As fresh DSE pupils received their university placement results, a study by Unison found that just about half of 257 non-degree post-secondary programmes responded used English as the main teaching language but 72% of these English-medium programmes required students to take compulsory courses in Chinese
– HT‘s intern Xaviera Artaza looked into the issue in depth and found that the cause of the problem lies in the failure of the government to grasp the real needs of non-Chinese speaking students – read the article here

Prominent soprano falls prey to biggest single phone fraud.
– Veteran Chinese soprano Li Yuanrong became the biggest single victim of recent phone frauds as she was cheated out of HKD20m
– Li was reportedly informed by fake mainland officials that she was involved in cases of money laundering and ordered her to transfer a total of HKD20m into various bank accounts in the mainland
– Just last month, Hongkongers were cheated out of HKD126m in 308 cases of phone scams while only 4 fraudsters were arrested