High Tide (September 7th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Localist leader arrested in anti-parallel trading protest; New air traffic control system in place despite “disastrous” shutdown. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

No plan to lift milk powder limit amid anti-parallel trading protest in Sheung Shui.
– Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man reiterated that there was no plan to lift the quota of milk powder that was allowed to be brought out of the city, citing possible shortage of the commodity in retail stores
– Meanwhile, about 150 activists reportedly took part in an anti-parallel tradingprotest in Sheung Shui, during which Ray Wong from the localist group Hong Kong Indigenous was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer
– Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So slammed the “extremely irresponsible” protesters for harming the city’s economy and people’s livelihood

Government rolls out timetable for water test in kindergartens.
– Secretary for Education Eddie Ng said water tests for lead for about 900 kindergartens could begin as early as next week
– Whole-day schooling kindergartens will be prioritised, followed by 80 primary and secondary schools
– Ng said 174 kindergartens also requested a total of 292 water filters
– Meanwhile, the Water Supplies Department will submit a report in this month, proposing measures to tackle the lead-in-water scandal such as harsherpunishment (ch) on plumbers who violated the regulations

New air traffic control system endorsed despite “disastrous” flaw.
– It was reported by front-line staff that senior officials in the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) decided to put a new air traffic control system (ch) in place despite a “disastrous” system shut-down during a test
– A spokesperson of the department stated that the claim was unfounded and that there was no requirement under the contract to re-test the system for another 31 consecutive days
– The department has been under fire for purchasing the HKD575m system, which was a product of an American company called Raytheon, in 2011 as hundreds of errors were reportedly identified
– It was earlier reported that a senior official responsible for the drafting of the purchase worked for a subcontractor of Raytheon in Hong Kong after retiring from the CAD, hinting a possible conflict of interest

Political (General)

Opposing camps positive over closer ties between Beijing and pan-dems.
– Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau said at the City Forum thatcommunications (ch) between her party and Beijing was supported by the majority while vice-chairman of DAB Holden Chow said they were not worried that moderate voters would turn to vote for their rivals because of the ice-breaking initiatives
– Ousted Democratic Party member Nelson Wong, meanwhile, hoped the two sides could set up a regularised communication mechanism and called on radical democrats to recognise the fact that it is impossible for Hong Kong to achieve independence

Colonial chief secretary calls for more “imaginative and less restrictive” policy-making.
– Former Chief Secretary David Akers-Jones said CY Leung “reticent” and “doesn’t have the art of making or causing people to love him”, despite being one of those who supported Leung in the 2012 CE election
– Akers-Jones called on the city’s top officials to have more discussions with senior civil servants for the sake of better policy-making.
– The 88-year-old also said the city’s economic and fiscal policy could be more “imaginative and less restrictive” to deal with an aging population