High Tide (September 4th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Developer hits back at criticisms over the “thankless task” of extending Avenue of Stars; China pledges to cut troops by 300,000; Green carpet in Central. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Developer of Avenue of Stars says there is no profit in the thankless task.
– New World Development’s head Henry Cheng said he did not really want to take on the “thankless task” of extending the Avenue of Stars since “there is no profit to be gained”
– This was the developer’s first public remarks on the controversial plan, following the Leisure and Cultural Services Department’s announcement that it will submit a public engagement work plan (instead of a consultation) to the Harbourfront Commission and that no new management entrustment deed will be signed this year

Political (General)

Hong Kong officials’ presence on the Tiananmen Gate.
– CY Leung was present sitting on the Tiananmen Gate joined by his predecessor Donald Tsang, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma, ExCo Convenor Lam Woon-kwong and former president of University of Science and Technology Paul Chu Ching-wu at the military parade in Beijing to mark 70th anniversary of the end of WWII
– Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to cut troops by 300,000 as a promise that the increasingly assertive country will “uphold the path of peaceful development”
– Several members of the 287-strong Hong Kong delegation, including Information Coordinator Fung Wai-kwong and DAB lawmaker Gary Chan, were found updating their Facebook (ch) status – the two later explained that one can connect to the supposedly blocked website with some HK-China mobile sim cards
– Meanwhile in Hong Kong, Acting CE John Tsang attended a commemoration ceremony outside the city hall, during which a protester with a loudspeaker briefly disrupted a silence for the war dead

Scholarism offers to help secondary schools over lead-in-water scandal.
– Student activist group Scholarism is offering to fund 20 to 30 secondary school student unions on water tests which would cost an estimate of HKD20,000 to HKD30,000
– Meanwhile, excessive lead level in a water sample was found in a primary school in Ho Man Tin which was built in 1960

One scandal after another as toilet water flows from taps in a public housing building.
– Residents in a public housing building in Kwun Tong would find their tap water rather salty yesterday morning as it was later found that the building’s toilet water (ch) pipe burst and leaked into the nearby drinking water tank
– The Housing Authority reported the problem was fixed at 3 in the afternoon

Green carpet in Hong Kong’s business hub as environmentalists call for pedestrian area in Central.
– Four community and green groups, namely Clean Air Network, Designing Hong Kong, Friends of the Earth and Conservancy Association announced a plan to submit a proposal to the Town Planning Board to set up a pedestrian- and tram-only zone (ch) stretching Morrison Street and Pedder Street
– The four groups also placed a long green carpet along the road outside Hang Seng Bank’s headquarters in Central with participants enjoying their time on the carpet to illustrate what the pedestrian zone would look like
– The plan was a response to an earlier proposal by a former Government town planner to kick tram service out of Central in bid to alleviate traffic congestion in the area