High Tide (August 14th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Two-man team to probe lead-in-water scandal; More cost overruns for railway projects; Two convicted of attack on Kevin Lau. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

CY Leung announces two-man commission on lead-in-water scandal.
– CY Leung announced the appointment of Andrew Chan Hing-wai, Judge of the Court of First Instance of the High Court, as Chairman and Commissioner and former Ombudsman Alan Lai Nin as Commissioner of the Commission of Inquiry into Excess Lead Found in Drinking Water
– The two-man commission was tasked with ascertaining the causes of the scandal and was expected to report to Leung within nine months
– Meanwhile, two more public estates, one in Cheung Sha Wan and one in Kwun Tong, were found to have excessive level of lead – one sample exceeding the WHO limit by 14 times – in drinking water
– 23 pan-dem lawmakers submitted another joint letter to the LegCo secretariat calling on Jasper Tsang to convene a House Committee meeting on top of a general meeting to discuss the issue
– Students Union of the City University also claimed that they recorded one water sample with excessive lead inside the campus

MTR Corp announces cost overruns for its railway projects. 
– The MTR Corp released the latest estimated costs for the South Island Line, Kwun Tong Line and Shatin to Central Line construction projects
– It was reported that the South Island Line and Kwun Tong Line projects would hit a HKD3bn cost overrun while the cost estimate of the Shatin to Central Line advance works, which would be covered by the government, would be raised by HKD1.3bn
– The Government stated that the MTR Corp “bears the greatest responsibility and duty to control project cost and manage risks” and requested the Corp to submit further information

New ministers disclose no item for declarations of interests.
– The Government revealed the renewed declarations of interests by the CE and senior officials and advisors
– The two newcomers, Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah and Secretary for the Civil Service Clement Cheung reportedly disclose no item
– Together with Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, they were the only three senior officials who under their names hold no property or company directorships in Hong Kong
– Meanwhile, Nicholas Yang, the ‘tapped’ Secretary for Innovation and Technology, owns ten properties

Political (General)

Four Hong Kong people injured in explosion incident in Tianjin.
– Four Hong Kong residents were injured in the explosion – an equivalent of 21 metric tons of TNT or a magnitude-2.9 earthquake – incident in Tianjin, according to a government response
– The latest number of casualties stood at 50 with 701 people injured
– A CNN report was harassed by bystanders when reporting outside a hospital in Tianjin
– Meanwhile, in Dongguang, Guangdong, a subway construction site collapse – the sixth time in three years – resulted in one death

Suspects convicted of attack on former Ming Pao chief editor.
– Two men were found guilty for causing grievous bodily harm with intent in the attack on former Ming Pao Editor-in-Chief Kevin Lau
– Lau welcomed the verdict while urging the police to continue investigating the “mastermind” behind the conspiracy
– The Court was told by the suspects earlier that they were forced by mainland police to confess to prevent the event from being politicised

Former CE under graft probe invited to attend military parade in Beijing.
– Former CE Donald Tsang, who was currently under investigation for alleged bribery, was invited to attend a military parade to mark the victory of the Second Sino-Japanese War in Beijing
– In late June, Director of Public Prosecutions Keith Yeung Kar-hung said a decision on whether to charge Tsang could be made in three months

The missing man: No photo of Martin Lee at Basic Law anniversary gallery exhibition.
– A gallery exhibition was held by Wen Wei Po to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the Basic Law, showing photos of members of the Hong Kong Basic Law Drafting Committee including the late Szeto Wah
– In his opening speech, CY Leung praised (ch) Wen Wei Po for their efforts in the drafting and consultation process of the promulgation of the Basic Law and in organising the exhibition
– However, even LegCo President Jasper Tsang was confused (ch) when he realised that the photos of veteran democrat Martin Lee, who was also a member of the Drafting Committee, was nowhere to be seen at the exhibition