High Tide (September 19th 2015) – Daily political round up

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

Government appoints youngest under secretary; Pan-dems to coordinate on future meetings with BJ; Groups mark Manchurian Incident anniversary.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Regina Ip’s former apprentice, 33, becomes youngest under secretary
– Ronald Chan Ngok-pang, 33, was appointed as Under Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs with effect from Sept 21
– Chan was an apprentice of Regina Ip but the two departed after Chan joined the Government in 2010 serving as Special Assistant to the Chief Executive’s Office and got promoted to the post of Political Assistant to the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs in 2012

SFH vows to allocate more funding for citywide cleaning campaign
– Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said the Government will allocate more funding to sustain the Keep Clean 2015@Hong Kong: Our Home campaign
– 36 private streets, 14 private rear lanes and the common areas of 480 “three-nil” buildings have been cleaned up since August when the campaign was launched

Quota for Hong Kong/Ireland Working Holiday Scheme to double
– The Government agreed to double the reciprocal annual quota under the Hong Kong/Ireland Working Holiday Scheme (WHS) from 100 to 200 with effect from March 1
– The WHS is designed for Hong Kong youths aged 18 to 30 to stay in Ireland for up to 12 months and worked under the same employer for no more than three months – the same applied to Irish nationals coming to Hong Kong

John Tsang to visit Central Europe
– Financial Secretary John Tsang will visit Hungary, Poland and Germany from Sept 21 to 26 to enhance economic and trade relations with the countries
– Meanwhile, Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen met with Indonesian Attorney General HM Prasetyo and Minister of Law & Human Rights Yasonna Laoly inJakarta to discuss legal exchanges and co-operation between Hong Kong and Indonesia
– Chief Secretary Carrie Lam concluded her Australian trip by visiting the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Sydney Dance Company

Political (General)

Pan-dems to share information over future meeting with Beijing
– Pan-dem lawmakers agreed to coordinate information about future talks with Beijing and a four-member liaison group headed by Civic Party’s Dennis Kwok was formed in accordance
– The five pro-democracy lawmakers who opposed to the move are Neo Democrats’ Gary Fan Kwok-wai, League of Social Democrats’ Leung Kwok-hung, independent Wong Yuk-man, and People Power’s Albert Chan and Raymond Chan
– Meanwhile, all lawmakers, including the pan-dems, were invited to a discussion forum co-hosted by the Chinese Association of Hong Kong & Macao Studies (ch), of which the Association’s president, Chen Zuo’er, and Basic Law Committee member Rao Geping will also join

Tommy Cheung to ‘filibuster’ against possible abandoning of MPF hedging mechanism
– Liberal Party’s Tommy Cheung, who recently pulled out of the race for the post of the LegCo’s House Committee chairman, said he would launch afilibustering (ch) in the LegCo if the Government plans to put forth a proposal to abandon the MPF hedging mechanism
– Federation of Trade Unions’ Wong Kwok-kin, meanwhile, claimed that it would be hard for the labour sector to support CY Leung in his bid for a second term if he failed to make good on his pledge to scrap the mechanism

Equality chief defends engagement with LGBT advocacy events
– Equal Opportunity Commissioner York Chow defended the quango equality agency’s participation in LGBT rights events, stressing that they “need to communicate and pay respect to everybody with different characteristics, and that will include sexual orientations”
– Chow, meanwhile, refrained from commenting too much on the Government’s public recruitment notice for the commissioner post but said none of his predecessors had served for more than one term

Hong Kong drops out of top 10 in world innovation rankings
– Hong Kong ranked 11th in the 2015 Global Innovation Index, second in Asia after Singapore
– This was the first time Hong Kong dropped out of top ten since 2012, having seen its biggest drop in business sophistication

Concerns raised as international school fees climb
– 47 Hong Kong international schools had risen their tuition fees by an average of almost 6% with six had their fees increased by more than 10% – some are charging about HKD200,000 for the 2015/16 school year
– Civic Party’s Kenneth Chan Ka-lok said the fees were “out of control” while Education lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen said the scale of increases was ungrounded

FIFA launches official probe into booing and lemon-tea-throwing fans
– FIFA has launched disciplinary proceedings against the Hong Kong Football Association for incidents of a flying lemon tea carton on top of the usual booing of Chinese national anthem during the recent match against Qatar
– The HKFA was required to provide relevant information to FIFA by Sept 22

China & World

Groups march to Japanese Consulate General office to mark anniversary of Sept 18 Incident
– Several groups marched to the Japanese Consulate General office yesterday to mark the 84th anniversary of the Sept 18th Incident (or the Manchurian Incident) in 1931
– Protesters urged the Japanese authority to withdraw a new security bill that would allow Japanese force to carry out certain missions overseas – which was lately endorsed by the Japanese parliament after months of debates and (counter-)filibustering