High Tide (August 29th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Eddie Ng under fire over lead-in-water in schools; ExCo member caught in conflict of interest; Activists seek judicial review over harbourfront project. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Eddie Ng under fire for dismissing water tests in schools.
– Education lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen and the pro-democracy Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers blasted (ch) Secretary for Education Eddie Ng for inaction in the wake of lead-in-water scandal spreading into campuses
– It was reported that the Education Bureau would not encourage schools to conduct water tests by themselves as the results may not be accurate
– At least 18 primary and secondary schools are waiting for water test results

John Tsang to stay in Hong Kong as CY Leung attends military parade in Beijing.
– Financial Secretary John Tsang is expected to stay behind as the Central Government holds the Sept 3 military parade in Beijing, according to a gazettenotice indicating which senior officials will be away during the period
– Joining CY Leung to attend the parade are Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So, Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam, Secretary for Education Eddie Ng, Secretary for Development Paul Chan, and Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury KC Chan

ExCo member Bernard Chan caught in conflict of interest over plan to building international school.
– ExCo member Bernard Chan was caught in a conflict of interest as Next Magazine reported (ch) that he was the director of a company which was recently granted a piece of land in Tseung Kwan O for HKD1000 to build a new international school
– It was found that Chan did not include the directorial role in the declaration of interests of Executive Council members
– Chan told New Magazine, “The school hasn’t opened yet and I didn’t want it to look like self-promotion”

Political (General)

Key democracy activists in bid to suspend trial over obstructing police.
– Four key democracy activists, including Scholarism’s Joshua Wong, Federation of Students’ Nathan Law, League of Social Democrats’ Raphael Wong and lawmaker Albert Chan from People Power, requested a permanent suspension of legal proceedings in court
– The four were charged with obstructing police when burning copies of the State Council’s white paper on ‘One Country, Two Systems’ outside the Liaison Office last June
– Joshua Wong and Nathan Law were earlier charged for taking a leading role in the Occupy Movement
– Meanwhile, protesters ‘celebrated‘ CY Leung’s lunar birthday, burning joss paper and paper dolls as the date coincided with the culmination of the Hungry Ghost Festival

Activist group seeks judicial review over New World Development’s waterfront management right.
– The Action Group on Protection of the Harbour sought judicial review (ch) requesting the High Court to overrule New World Development’s waterfront management right and restart the tendering process
– Harbourfront Commission stated the partnership between Government and New World Development to expand the Avenue of Stars is “logical” while the Leisure and Cultural Services Department replied that the partnership is “mapped out and put forward in an open and fair manner and is in alignment with public interest”

James Tien slams CY Leung and Beijing for meddling with HKU senior appointment.
– Liberal Party’s James Tien, the ‘naughty boy’ in the pro-establishment camp, hit out at CY Leung and the Liaison Office, accusing the authorities of meddling with Hong Kong University’s appointment of pro-democracy scholar Johannes Chan as pro-vice-chancellor
– Tien said there were people from the two institutions persuading HKU Council members to defer the appointment and “wait until a provost is named”
– Tien also slammed Leung for only pursing issues that suit his own interests, when commenting on a recent row between Leung and Liberal Party chairman Felix Chung over adopting the “appropriately proactive” approach

Jimmy Lai and ‘Mad Dog’ the most unpopular political figures, pro-Beijing group survey finds.
– Pro-Beijing group Silent Majority For Hong Kong, led by Chow Yung, commissioned the Hong Kong Research Association to conduct a survey on the popularity of Hong Kong’s 20 pro-democracy lawmaker and other seven pro-democracy figures
– It was found that Jimmy Lai, founder of Next Media, was the most highly opposed figure with a net support of -17%, followed by independent lawmaker Raymond Wong, the “Mad Dog” who scored a net support of -12.2%