High Tide (August 26th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Historical pawn shop owner refuses to meet Development minister; HKU Council to decide on controversial senior appointment in Sept; Pan-dems report suspicious cases of vote rigging. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Eddie Ng on home-schooling and lead-in-water.
– When commenting on a recent case of home-schooling and an organisation that claimed to be providing such service, Secretary for Education Eddie Ng stressed that proper school education is “irreplaceable (ch)” and that Hong Kong’s education system is able to provide comprehensive and high-quality schooling, ranking 4th in the world in a Pearson report
– Ng meanwhile dodged a question as to whether the authorities would conduct water tests in all primary schools in face of a lead-in-water case found in a primary school
– Just as Ng spoke, another school in Shek Kip Mei found three lead-contaminated water samples, among which one sample collected from a water dispenser recorded a lead level exceeding the WHO standard by 21 times

Development minister snubbed by owner of historical pawn shop deemed to be demolished.
– The Antiquities Advisory Board decided to retain the Wan Chai Tung Tak pawn shop’s Grade Three historical building status despite an online petition signed by more than 2,000 people calling for preservation through raising its status
– Deputy Secretary for Development Albert Lam Kai-chung revealed that the authority first proposed preserving the outer wall of the pawn shop but was turned down by the owner in 2009 – a more recent attempt to secure a meeting between the owner and Secretary for Development Paul Chan was also rejected

Extended dental programme covers 140,000 more people.
– Community Care Fund announced that it would extend its free dental scheme after running for three years providing dental services to 1,400 out of some 7,000 eligible persons
– Under the new programme, another 140,000 people who are over 80 and receiving the Old Age Living Allowance will become eligible to receive dentures starting on September 1

Political (General)

Provost for HKU yet to be named.
– After a meeting held under tight security outside its main campus, HKU Council chairman Edward Leong said a decision on the controversial appointment of pro-democracy scholar Johannes Chan as pro-vice-chancellor will be made by September whereas the Council was yet to come up with a candidate for the post of provost
– Meanwhile, the Council accepted the recommendation from its audit committee that Chan should be warned rather than punished for a row over donations related to Occupy Central
– It was also said that the Council was asking police to investigate allegations of criminal conduct concerning the night when students stormed the Council meeting

Pan-dems submit report on suspicious voter records.
– Pan-dems lodged complaints on suspicious voter records involving more than 1,500 cases (ch) to the Government’s electoral office
– It was found that there were about 40 cases in which an address is accommodating more than four family names
– Meanwhile, pan-dems said it will move a motion urging the Government to map out a comprehensive plan to tackle the lead-in-water (ch) scandal during a special LegCo meeting held on September 1

Three Occupy protesters jailed for 3.5 months after DoJ appeal.
– Three out of four Occupy protesters who smashed a door at LegCo during the Occupy Movement were sentenced to jail for three-and-a-half months each
– The ruling came after the Department of Justice appealed against the original sentence that ordered the defendants to carry out 150 hours of community service
– Ruling on the fourth defendant was adjourned to the next month to consider a report from the detention centre