High Tide (August 13th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Report on axing of trees released; Two more Uber drivers arrested; Regina Ip’s medical report sparks more criticism. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Working at midnight: Wan Chai Pawn Shop – and report on axing of four trees.
– A petition to preserve the ‘Tung Tak Pawn Shop’, an 80-year-old building in Wan Chai, had collected 2008 signatories
– The Development Bureau dismissed the call and stated that only Grade 1 historical buildings are regarded as heritage site while the pawn shop was only categorised as a Grade 3 building
– It was found that the owner, who wanted to turn the place into a 23-storey business building, started the demolishing work yesterday at midnight
– Meanwhile, the Highways Department released a report last night on the axing of four trees at Bonham Road, stressing on new cracks on the parapet wall on the top of the stonewall where the trees were grown

Pan-dems call on Jasper Tsang to hold special meeting on lead-in-water incidents.
– All 27 pan-dems called on LegCo President Jasper Tsang to convene a special meeting to probe the lead-in-water scandal with the legislature’s authority under the Power and Privileges Ordinance
– Democratic Party’s Helena Wong worried that the removal of pipes in Kai Ching Estate, the first public housing estate where excessive lead in drinking water was found, was an attempt to destroy evidence that could lead to a criminal offence
– CY Leung reiterated that details of the government’s special investigation committee would be announced “very soon” and stressed that “judicial personnel are quite busy”
– Pro-est DAB chairwoman Starry Lee earlier said her party would not rule out supporting the use of the LegCo’s special power

CY Leung praises “new cooperation platform” in visit to Zhuhai.
– CY Leung visited Zhuhai and met with the Secretary of the Zhuhai Municipal Committee Li Jia
– Leung also inspected the construction work of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and the development of the Hengqin Special Economic Zone, praising the latter as a new cooperation platform between two close partners – Hong Kong and Zhuhai
– Meanwhile, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So met with senior Australian senior officials, namely Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb during his visit to Canberra

Privacy chief says he lacks authority to probe cross-border scams.
– New Privacy Commissioner Stephen Wong Kai-yi said he was not authorised to investigate recent phone scams under current current laws over cross-border data transactions
– Wong said the power granted under section 33 of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance has yet to be implemented for 20 years
– Wong stated the commission had received no complaints over the scams but would remain in touch with the police

Political (General)

Two more Uber drivers arrested as Police chief warns of further action.
– Two more Uber drivers were arrested a few hours after Police chief Stephen Lo warned of further action against the unlicensed car-hailing service
– InvestHK, which reportedly encouraged the firm’s operation in Hong Kong before, was found removing a positive case study over Uber on the department’s website
– A spokesman for INvestHK explained the removal was due to Uber “now being investigated for allegedly operating outside of the legal ambit”
– Meanwhile, a driver of GoGoVan, another service provider, recently plead guilty (ch) to drive without a valid hire car permit to carry passengers for hire or reward and without a third-party insurance

Regina Ip’s online medical report drama sparks more criticism as a manager apologises for the blunder.
– Exco member and former Secretary for Security Regina Ip saw her ID card information posted on her Facebook page as she shared her medical check-up report on the online social networking platform
– A person called Eric Chan, who claimed to be Ip’s facebook page manager, laterapologised (ch) for the blunder
– Netizens, however, continued to mock Ip for shouldering the responsibility
– A lesson for politicians who want to use social networking platform – James Tien immediately mocked Ip by posting an ‘apology’ statement (ch) with similar format