High Tide (September 30th 2015) – Daily political round up

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HKBCF reclamation movement is not ‘normal’; HKU rejects senior appointment of Johannes Chan; HKTV loses judicial review.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Government & LegCo

‘Disingenuous normality’: The problematic moving HKBCF reclamation
– Veteran journalist Howard Winn, who first raised the whole issue of movements at the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF) reclamation, slammed the Government for trying to play down the problem
– Winn said the main problem now with the reclamation was that it is taking longer to settle than anticipated and attempts to stabilise the marine mud had not been successful
– Winn criticised the Highways Department’s “disingenuous” statement for claiming that the issue was ‘normal’ while appointing a loss adjuster
– Meanwhile, the Government announced that no reclamation would be undertaken for a tourism hub development at the Kai Tak site

Airport Authority announces revised plan to charge passengers to fund third runway
– The Airport Authority confirmed that all departing passengers would be charged to fund the controversial third runway project
– The surcharge for each passenger would vary from HKD70 to HKD180 depending on the flight length and seat type
– The surcharge is expected to be applied in the middle of next year when the construction of the third runway commences and will continue until ‘2028 to 2030’
– Meanwhile, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So said the Government is planning to offer HKD10m to finance the tourism sector on overseas marketing

Political (General)

HKU Council rejects senior appointment of Johannes Chan by 12 votes to 8
– The University of Hong Kong Council rejected (ch) the appointment of pro-democracy scholar Johannes Chan as pro-vice-chancellor by 12 to 8
– HKUSU president Billy Fung revealed that the 12 Council members who voted down the appointment, including ExCo meber and former Secretary for Education and Manpower Arthur Li as well as the ‘diving’ professor Lo Chung-mau, said Chan lacks qualification and integrity
– Council Chairman Edward Leong said Fung may face punishment for breaching the confidentiality clause

High Court dismisses HKTV’s judicial review over mobile television licence 
– The High Court dismissed a judicial review filed by Ricky Wong’s Hong Kong Television Network (HKTV) against the Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) over interpretation of the the Broadcasting Ordinance
– HKTV obtained a mobile television licence in December 2013 but was later told by the OFCA that a free-to-air television licence is still required under the Ordinance since more than 5,000 households would receive the services
– Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So said the Government “welcome the decision”
– The High Court ruled that the Executive Council’s decision to deny HKTV a free-to-air television licence as unlawful in April this year and an appeal by the Government was followed a month later
– Meanwhile, the Communications Authority decided to impose an additional financial penalty of HKD100,000 on ATV for its failure to submit the 2014 Audited Accounts by July 31, 2015

Hong Kong’s richest man hits back at accusations that he is abandoning China
– Hong Kong’s billionaire Li Ka-shing made a response on recent reports saying that he is divesting from mainland China, blasting the Chinese media for the “totally unfounded” accusations
– Li said “the tone of the articles sent chills down people’s spines with a distorted view” and stressed his group’s commitment to the economic development of China

Support rating for CY Leung drops below 40 for the third time in the past four surveys, HKUPOP finds
– The University of Hong Kong Public Opinion Programme (HKUPOP) released the latest results of CY Leung’s popularity, which fell below 40 (39.2) for the third time in the past four surveys
– The HKSAR Government also received a net satisfaction rate at -27%
– Meanwhile, another poll conducted by the Chinese University showed that Hongkongers’ trust in both CY Leung and Beijing dropped