High Tide (September 18th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Officials still out defending Zhang’s ‘transcendent’ remarks; Clashes among pro-democracy groups in DC polls.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Senior officials out defending Zhang Xiaoming’s ‘transcendent’ statement
CY Leung and Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen, who were in Jakarta and Beijing respectively, reiterated that the powers of the CE are provided for in the Basic Law and that the city’s judicial independence will not be compromised
– Both Leung and Yuen indirectly stated Zhang Xiaoming, Beijing’s liaison chief, did not suggest otherwise during his speech in which he claimed that there is no separation of powers in Hong Kong and that the CE has a ‘transcendent’ status
– Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Lau Kong-wah also defended Zhang by claiming that his provocative statement followed the line of the Basic Law
– Using the UK parliamentary system as an example, LegCo president Jasper Tsangalso stepped up and argue that strict separation of powers is not a necessary condition for democracy

CY Leung eyes signing of Hong Kong-ASEAN FTA
– CY Leung called on the Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Le Luong Minh, during his first official visit to Indonesia and discussed the progress of talks on establishing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Hong Kong and ASEAN
– Leung hoped the talks could be completed by next year

Government releases blood test results and water test results in kindergartens
– The Government released blood test results of 833 residents from lead-tainted public housing estates, among which seven children were on borderline raised levels
– Meanwhile, Secretary for Education Eddie Ng reported one water sample with excessive lead ten times the WHO standard was found in a kindergarten in Kwun Tong but stressed that water form the concerned tap would not be used as drinking water for the school kids

Political (General)

Pan-dems to take on Occupy veterans in at least 14 constituencies in upcoming DC elections
– Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, founder of Power for Democracy which assists in coordination works for pro-democracy groups, said there would be clashes between the groups in at least 14 constituencies in the upcoming district council elections
– Contenders from pan-dem parties would face Occupy veterans from Youngspiration, North of the Rings and East Kowloon Community in the constituencies
– Cheng said a consensus had been reached with 14 other post-Occupy groups in nine districts while warned of a possibility of fake post-Occupy groups attempting to lure votes away from pro-democracy groups

Environmental groups petition against controversial Lion Rock ‘green belt’ development proposal
– Seven environmental groups in Hong Kong, including Green Sense, Greeners Action and Greenpeace, signed a petition opposing a government proposal to develop a residential ‘green belt‘ at Tai Wo Ping near Lion Rock Country Park
– The Government made an unusual requirement demanding developers to carry out their own geographical investigations, and mitigation and stabilisation works on the whole site that extends into land inside the park