High Tide (August 19th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Mainlanders ‘forced to make scam calls’; Factwire raised HKD3m; HK down 15 places in liveability ranking amid “disruptive protests”. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Government issues red travel outbound alert for Thailand.
– The Hong Kong Government raised the Outbound Travel Alert for Bangkok to red, in face of bomb plot (video) in Bangkok which killed 20 people, including two Hong Kong residents
– On another occasion, an explosive device was thrown at the tourist site of Sathorn pier in Bangkok but no-one was hurt
– Among those who paid tribute to one deceased Hong Kong resident who was studying law in London included British Prime Minister David Cameron
– Meanwhile, the Centre for Food Safety issued a statement concerning imports of food from the possibly cyanide-contaminated Tianjin, noting that the city only supplies vegetables to Hong Kong in winter and no food was imported since early this year

Mainlanders ‘forced to make scam calls’, police liaison officer claims.
– An officer from the Liaison Office in Hong Kong made a rare presence at a DBC phone-in radio programme, commenting on recent scam calls of which mainlanders and bank accounts in the China were involved
– In defense of Chinese citizens’ involvement in the crimes, the officer said the criminal groups were head by Taiwanese and their operations were based in Southeast Asia, with mainlanders held captive and forced to make scam calls
– The officer also noted that the criminal groups turned to target Hongkongers after the mainland authorities took swift actions against the activities

Parties urge electoral office to follow up on possible vote-rigging cases.
– The Democratic Party and the Civc Party called on the Registration and Electoral Office to tackle suspicious voter registrations of which might involve vote-riggingactivities
–  At least 12 voters claimed to live in addresses that do not exist, according to the parties’ findings in Southern and Yau Tsim Mong districts while a few voters reported that their registered addresses were used by someone else

Political (General)

Factwire, a HK investigative journalism initiative, meets HKD3m target through crowdfunding.
– Factwire, a new Hong Kong-based journalism agency which claimed to specialise on investigative journalism, raised over HKD3m on crowdfunding platform Fringbacker
– The project was led by veteran journalist Ng Hiu-tung who previously worked for Cable News and TVB
– The crowdfunding is expected to last until late September

Student activists charged for storming government headquarters a year ago.
– Student activists, including Scholarism’s Joshua Wong and Nathan Lo who headed the Hong Kong Federation of Students, were ordered to report to the police and would be charged for the storming of government headquarters and for inciting and taking part in an illegal assembly about a year ago
– Lo questioned why the case was handled by the Organized Crime and Triad Bureau, asking if police saw student groups as criminal groups or triads
– Meanwhile, a senior prosecutor from the Department of Justice urged the Court to sentence four protesters to jail – the protesters were each sentenced to 150 hours of community services last month for attempting to break into the LegCo building in November last year

Hong Kong drops by 15 in liveability ranking amid “disruptive protests”.
The Economist Intelligent Unit released the Global Liveability Ranking and Report 2015, in which Hong Kong dropped 15 places to the 46th, three places ahead of Singapore
– In the report, it was said that “Hong Kong’s liveability has been hit by the disruptive protests that took place last year”