High Tide (September 8th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Election watchdog slammed for incompetence; Regina Ip and Bernard Chan launch new business group; Supreme Court back to old home. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Greg So meets with New Zealand commerce minister.
– Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So held a bilateral meeting with Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs of New Zealand Paul Goldsmith in Cebu, the Philippines
– The two exchanged views on the trade and economic relations between Hong Kong and New Zealand, with a note on the former’s Competition Commission
– The meeting was followed by the opening session and a panel discussion on Challenges in Undertaking Structural Reform at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting

Electoral office slammed for incompetence over dubious voter registrations.
– The Registration and Electoral Office was under fire after a court magistrate reviewed hundreds of complaints related to cases of suspicious voter registrations
– The magistrate slammed the Officer for causing confusion and wasting the court’s time as many of the errors were resulted from incorrect input of data
– LegCo President Jasper Tsang, on the other hand, criticised pan-dem politicians for exaggerating the issue in the name of vote rigging in bid to gain the upper hand over their competitors in DC elections

Public transport fare concession scheme to include 16 more green minibus routes.
– 16 more green minibus routes, two serving Kowloon and 14 serving the New Territories, will be covered under the Public Transport Fare Concession Scheme for the Elderly and Eligible Persons with Disabilities starting from Sept 20
– The Government’s reimbursement of revenue forgone to the operators will increase from HKD581m in 2014-2015 to HKD900m in 2015-2016

Political (General)

Regina Ip and Bernard Chan launch new business group, with CE election in sight.
– ExCo members Regina Ip and Bernard Chan paired up to form the ‘Maritime Silk Road Society‘ (official website), an umbrella organisation for business groups to seize opportunities arisen from the ‘One Belt, One Road’ strategy
– The initiative by Ip and Chan was widely seen as their first step in the 2017 race for the CE post
– Former National People’s Congress vice-chairman Professor Xu Jialu is an adviser while Shun Tak Holdings managing director Pansy Ho Chiu-king, executive director and vice-chairman of Henderson Land Development Lee Ka-kit and former Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen are honorary presidents

40% of schools plan to test water supplies ahead of government arrangement.
– A survey distributed to 115 primary, secondary and special schools by the Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union between Aug 24 and Sept 1 showed that 40% of the schools will not wait for the Government to arrange tests on water supplies(ch)
– The Government announced on Sept 1 that it will arrange water tests for all kindergartens, followed by primary and secondary schools built after 2005 in a few months time
– 62% regarded an earlier guideline issued by the Education Bureau as insufficient to address the lead-in-water issue
– It was estimated that each school would spend HKD3,000 to HKD4,000 for water tests

Court of Final Appeal back to its historic home.
– The Court of Final Appeal has moved to the former LegCo building in Central along with a new logo that depicts the historic 103-year-old building
– Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma said, “I am particularly happy today that our judiciary department takes back such a historic building.”
– The building housed the Supreme Court until 1984 and the LegCo from 1985 to 2011