High Tide (August 12th 2015) – Daily political round up

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CY Leung targets landfill for housing land; Planning Dept on rezoning of industrial areas; 5 Uber drivers arrested. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


 

Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

CY Leung’s next target in search for housing land – landfills.
– It was reported that CY Leung insisted (ch) on changing the land-use of some 104 hectares of land next to the South East New Territories Landfill in Tseung Kwan O for housing use despite worries of low feasibility raised by internal assessment
– The site is now used as public filling places for barging and stockpiling while Leung’s plan was to build 35,000 housing units accommodating 100,000 people in the area

SLW on detained DSC boss.
– Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung addressed some 300 staff affected by the closure of DSC that the authorities would expedite the process to offer ex-gratia payment from the Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund
– Cheung stated that once DSC boss Hui Ming-shun, who is now under Police custody, signed the Statement of Inability to Pay form and recognised the outstanding amount of unpaid salaries, the process of triggering a petition for liquidation of the company could be done as early as next month
– The maximum ex-gratia payment from the Fund to each employee was HKD289,000

Planning Department scraps suggestion to change land-use of Siu Lek Yuen and Fo Tan industrial areas.
– The Planning Department released the latest assessment on industrial land-use,proposing the rezoning of industrial sites in Tsuen Wan and Ap Lei Chau for business use
– The Department, meanwhile, pulled (ch) two sites in Siu Lek Yuen and Fo Tan out of the rezoning plan as industrial activities remained active in the areas
– The assessment revealed that 79% of industrial buildings space was not used for manufacturing purpose, of which 41% were warehouses while 24% were offices
– The Department also proposed relaxing the definition of industrial premises to allow activities such as fish farming and plant cultivation to operate in such places

Electoral commission dismisses calls to probe vote rigging in elderly centres.
– Responding to recent reports of suspected vote rigging, Electoral Affairs Commission Chairman Fung Wah stated (ch) that the commission had sent out more than 80,000 verification letters to voters with suspicious addresses
– Fung, meanwhile, dismissed calls to check if older people in care centres were registered as voters without consent as he claimed that targeting a particular age group could constitute discrimination

Political (General)

Five Uber drivers arrested in operation against ‘unlicensed’ car-hailing services.
– Police arrested five Uber drivers and “invited” three staff from its Hong Kong office to help with investigation after taxi drivers lobbied against the ‘unlicensed’ car-hailing service provider
– Uber later stated that the drivers had its full support and urged the Hong Kong authorities to refine current laws and regulations

Negative popularity score for the new Home Affairs minister.
– According to the HKU POP’s latest survey report on popularity figures of CE and principal officials, the new Home Affairs Secretary, Lau Kong-wah, registered negative popularity at 19% points, just ahead of Secretary for Education Eddie Ng (27%) and Secretary for Development Paul Chan (31%)
– The support rating of CY Leung dropped by 4.7 points from 43.9 in late July to 39.2 in early August
– LegCo President Jasper Tsang hit out at CY Leung yet again, saying that his brother, former Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing, should not bear full responsibility for the Occupy Movement
– “Saying that certain official should be held responsible for the mass movement was unfair both to that official and to the students [who participated in the movement],” Tsang said
– Tsang also noted that CY Leung and his aides were “very unhappy” with the way he handled the pan-dems’ filibustering in the LegCo