High Tide (September 13th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Liaison chief places CE above the Three Branches; Deadlock over Standard Working Hours; Occupy supporters rally for ‘re-encountering’ in Admiralty.


Photo: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Deadlock remains over standard working hours legislation.
– Members of the Standard Working Hours Committee remained divided over whether and how overtime rate should be implemented
– A report commissioned by the committee estimated that a 1.5 times regular salary for overtime would cost employers more than HKD10bn a year
– Stanley Ng Chau-pei, a union representative and chairman of the pro-est Federation of Trade Union, said the sum should have been paid to employees, who often have little bargaining power, in the first place
– Meanwhile, Stanley Lau Chin-ho, who represents the employers on the committee, argued that the overtime compensation has already been counted in the basic salary and that employees indeed have strong bargaining power as it is now harder for companies to recruit workers

Tree watchdog halts cutting of roadside banyan tree fork.
– The Highways Department decided to postpone axing of the main fork of abanyan tree (ch) on Hospital Road after the quango Expert Panel on Tree Management disputed the move
– The panel earlier planned to carry out an investigation in late September but received a notice from Highways Department on Friday night that the tree fork would be cut the following morning
– A panel member also criticised the department for mishandling the tree which was often scratched by vehicles passing by

Political (General)

CE as in ‘Celestial Emperor’? Beijing’s liaison chief puts Hong Kong’s head above separation of powers.
– When attending the Symposium in Commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the Basic Law, Beijing’s liaison chief Zhang Xiaoming dismissed the city’s separation of powers and said the CE has a “special legal position which is above the executive, legislative and judicial institutions”
– Zhang said the city is a jurisdiction directly under Beijing in an “executive-led, judicially independent political system”
– Civic Party leader Alan Leong slammed Zhang for putting CY Leung in a position as if he is a “feudal emperor”
– Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, meanwhile, “there is nothing novel” about Zhang’s views that the CE is accountable to Beijing and dismissed criticism that Zhang’s remarks implied unbound power of the CE

Occupy supporters rally for a Mid-Autumn Festival “re-encounter” in Admiralty.
– Police confirmed receiving requests for protest approval from at least four pro-democracy groups to mark the first anniversary (ch) of the Occupy Movement
– Meanwhile, more than 5,700 netizens joined an Facebook event titled “Sept 27-28 Mid-Autumn Festival Re-encountering in Admiralty
– Police commissioner Stephen Lo said there is no sign of radical protest on the day as of late

Ronny Tong in search of successor to replace him in his new political group.
– Ronny Tong said he is considering stepping down as convenor of his new political group, the “Path of Democracy (ch)”, and hoped that the candidate would better manage relations between the group and the pan-dem bloc
– Tong said he was recently feeling rather distressed that he was slammed for ‘joining the commies’ after quitting the Civic Party