High Tide (September 2nd 2015) – Daily political round up

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Gov’t u-turn on water tests for schools; Chow Yung to join delegation to Beijing; Court drops case on Occupy activists. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Government U-turn to promise lead-water tests for kindergartens.
– At a LegCo Housing Committee special meeting on lead-in-water scandal, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam confirmed that the Government will test water supplies of the city’s 980 kindergartens followed by some 80 primary and secondary schools built after 2005
– The announcement came despite an earlier statement by Secretary for Education Eddie Ng that the Government would not test water supplies for schools
– Meanwhile, a motion moved by pan-dem lawmakers to urge the Government to roll out a clear plan and timetable to handle the lead-watergate scandal was voted down by 20 to 25

Government pledges to consult public on controversial harbourfront project.
– The Leisure and Cultural Services Department pledged to consult the public on the management of the Avenue of Stars extension plan after members of the harbourfront watchdog criticised the controversial project
– The Town Planning Board earlier conditionally endorsed the application despite strong oppositions from the society over the appointment of a non-profit subsidiary of New World Development to run the project without public tendering

Authorities back plans to raise fixed penalties for illegal parking.
– The Transport and Housing Bureau and Police are backing a plan to raise fixed penalties for illegal parking as the average daily number of tickets issued in 2015 has rocketed by 15% from last year and 21% from the year before
– 723,129 tickets were issued in the first seven month of 2015, averaging 3,379 tickets per day – or one every 26 seconds

Political (General)

HKU meeting likely to endorse non-binding motion on senior appointment.
– 3,257 alumni and lecturers attended the Hong Kong University Convocation meeting to debate the controversial delays on appointing pro-democracy scholar Johannes Chan as pro-vice-chancellor
– Another 5,754 proxy votes were cast, making the total number of votes 9,011
– It was expected that a non-binding motion moved by the HKU Alumni Concern Group to urge the HKU Council to announce the appointment in 30 days will be endorsed as most of the attendants were in support of the appointment while the group held almost half of the proxy votes
– Results will be announced later today at 11am
– A statement from the Education Bureau appealed to the community “not to impose pressure on the Council, and not to hinder the normal functioning of the University and the Council”

Pro-Beijing loyalist Chow Yung named in CE delegation to military parade in Beijing.
– CY Leung will lead a 287-strong delegation, himself included, to attend the September 3 military parade in Beijing to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Pacific War
– Chow Yung and core members of the pro-Beijing Alliance for Peace and Democracy, as well as senior Police officers responsible for handling the Occupy Movement, including former commissioner Andy Tsang, were on the list
– The Acting CE John Tsang will attend an official ceremony at the City Hall Memorial Garden to commemorate the anniversary alongside some 700 people including “judicial officers, a member of the Executive Council, a representative of the Legislative Council, representatives of war veteran groups, members of the community, uniformed groups and students”

Contempt charges against Occupy activists nullified amid DoJ blunder.
– The High Court dropped criminal contempt charges against 17 Occupy activists after refusing the Department of Justice to file a delayed notice
– Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen said, “We do not agree with that, but the judge ruled in the other side’s favour…we would have to consider, whether as a matter of law or as a matter of proper interpretation of the relevant rules of the High Court, what exactly are the documents that are required to be lodged within the deadline.”
– Yuen stressed the authority is yet to decide whether or not to lodge an appeal