High Tide (September 15th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Police rewriting 1967 riots history; HKBA urges liaison chief to clarify SoP claims; 4 HK universities in QS top 100 rankings.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Police rewriting history of 1967 Riot sparks controversy
– The Police Force was criticised for taking out sensitive wordings such as ‘red fat cats’ and ‘communist militia’ in its official version of the 1967 riots history
– A police spokesman explained that the changes were mere amendments to offer a “more concise presentation of content with revised wordings”
– The 1967 riots were a series of violent events in which pro-Beijing loyalists attempted to overthrow the colonial government to echo the mainland’s Cultural Revolution

Government to collect public views on Avenue of Stars but no sign of open tender
– The Leisure and Cultural Services Department announced that it will launch atwo-stage public consultation regarding the controversial extension of Avenue of Stars
– The public will be invited to express its views on the project’s design, operations and management model, but not the tendering procedure
– The department’s deputy director reiterated there was no “plans to change the mode of partnership at the moment” and that the partnership was reasonable and “serves public interests”

Tapped InnoTech chief leads his first delegation to Beijing
– Nicholas Yang, Innovation & Technology (ch) Adviser to CY Leung, will lead his first delegation of officials and industry representatives to Beijing today
– The 51-strong delegation will meet with officials from the State Council’s Office of Hong Kong and Macao Affairs as well as several other related mainland authorities
– IT lawmaker Charles Mok was not invited to join the delegation
– Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam started her visit programme in Melbourne while Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man will depart for Beijing today morning

Political (General)

Bar Association expresses “deep concerns” over liaison chief’s speech on CE’s ‘special legal status’
– The Bar Association expressed “deep concerns” over a recent speech given by Beijing’s liaison chief Zhang Xiaoming who stressed CE’s ‘special legal status‘ and played the city’s separation of powers down
– The association it was “regrettable” for Zhang’s claim to have provoked “considerable amongst the public” and urged Zhang and Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen to “clarify the position as soon as possible…and to eliminate any unnecessary concerns and doubts…in relation to the implementation of the Rule of Law under ‘One Country, Two Systems'”

Pan-dem slams conflict of interest in five DCs
– A pan-dem concern group Power for Democracy released a report revealingconflict of interest (ch) within the city’s district councils which are dominated by the pro-est
– According to the report, many district councils have close relationship with local community groups, with councillors from five DCs being members of the community groups themselves and were involved in the funding process
– The DCs under concern included Central and Western DC, Tsuen Wan DC, Kwun Tong DC, Wong Tai Sin DC and Sha Tin DC with a total of HKD12m granted to 41 organisations

Concern group names top 10 pointless government apps
– Momentum 107, a public finance concern group, named 10 most worthless government mobile applications from eight government departments, describing them “rubbish” that were expensive to develop but had very low download rates
– Among the worst was iStartup@HK, which was commissioned by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) and received only 10 downloads
– According to the group, the Government had spent HKD20m to development a total of 70 mobile apps in the past two years

Former HKMEx boss has jail terms dropped for being “genuinely remorseful”
– Barry Cheung, former Executive Council member and chairman of the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange, had his six-week jail term quashed and replaced by 160 hours of community service
– The Court ruled in the belief that Cheung had demonstrated genuine remorse for his wrongdoing
– Cheung was charged of failing to pay an employee and still live in a flat in Repulse Bay with a monthly rent of HKD160,000

Hong Kong maintains top notch status in Asia’s HE industry, latest QS rankings show
– Hong Kong features four universities in the top 100 and two in the top 50, keeping it on par with Singapore, Japan and South Korea in the latest QS World University Rankings
– HKUST (28th) is Hong Kong’s top ranking university, closely followed by HKU (30th)
– CityU leaped from 108th to 57th to join CUHK (51th) on the 50-100 table
– The National University of Singapore (12th) and Nanyang Technological University (13th), both from Singapore, are the leading Asian institutions with China’s Tsinghua University (25th) being Asia’s third best