High Tide (October 7th 2015) – Daily political round up

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CY Leung: HKD50m from UGL a ‘departure arrangement’; Pan-dems to run for all LegCo key posts; 2000 join silent march in HKU.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Government & LegCo

CY Leung dismisses connection between unimplemented anti-graft law amendment and his HKD50m scandal
– CY Leung stated there was no intention to delay the implementation of an amendment on sections 3 and 8 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO) and that there was nothing to do with him receiving HKD50m from the UGL Limited, saying the latter was merely an “arrangement (ch) upon leaving [the DTZ]”
– The then Chief Justice Andrew Li Kwok-nang proposed the amendment on POBO, which includes anti-graft law concerning civil servants, to cover the CE in 2012
– Leung also reiterated that there was no political consideration in the recent prosecution of his predecessor Donald Tsang over misconduct
– Former Secretary for Justice Elsie Leung said any prosecution against the incumbent CE would have to go through Beijing

Pan-dems to wage war on their pro-est rivals over key posts of all LegCo committees
– Pan-dems warned of more filibustering in LegCo if their pro-est rivals stepped up previous claims to take control of chairman and deputy chairman posts of all 18 policy panels and other committees when the LegCo resume later this month
– The offer from the pro-est to let the pan-dems chair only two panels was rejected as “an insult”
– Emily Lau of the Democratic Party will run for the influential post of Financial Committee chairman while her colleague Sin Chung-kai would contest the House Committee deputy chairman post as previously planned

Police deletes ‘negative’ comments on its Facebook page, warns of ‘criminal consequences’ of online abuse
– Police warned of ‘criminal consequences‘ after its newly launched Facebook page was flooded with comments criticising the force
– A police spokeswoman said comments that were “negative”, “indecent” or suspected of law violations will be deleted – which could quite a lot of works
– Meanwhile, netizens set up an ‘Authentic Hong Kong Police (正宗香港警察)‘ Facebook page which claimed that no comment will be deleted
– Netizens were also rallying to launch a ‘one person one letter‘ protest on the World Post Day of Friday to send postcards to Postmaster General Jessie Ting over the Hongkong Post’s proposal to cover all royal ciphers engraved on the remaining colonial-era mailboxes

HKD1bn recycling fund opened for applications
– Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing announced the launch of the HKD1bn Recycling Fund which was proposed in last year’s policy address and approved in the LegCo in July
– The first batch of successful applicants are expected to receive the grants in March
– The fund comprises of a matching fund programme for individual enterprises to upgrade their waste recycling operations and another programme to support non-profit and trade support recycling organisations
– In response to frontline recyclers, who were not covered by the two programmes, crying out for harsh business environment (such as falling plastic prices), Wong said the Government will “launch the scheme first and see the response and the situation that is changing”

Political (General)

2,000 HKU students, staff join silent march in protest of rejection of Johannes Chan’s senior appointment
– About 2,000 University of Hong Kong students and staff responded to an earlier call to participate in a silent march in protest of Johannes Chan’s rejection from the pro-vice-chancellor post
– Participating senior staff included former arts dean Professor Douglas Kerr, Dr Peter Kennedy of the school of English, Director of the public opinion programme Dr Robert Chung Ting-yiu, and Dr Peter Cunich of the history department but none of the current deans were reportedly sighted
– Meanwhile, the HKU dropped in yet another university rankings (ch), this time on the U.S. News & World Report, by 22 places from 42nd to 64th

Accountancy lawmaker to table private bill to protect whistle-blowers from civil liability
– Accountancy lawmaker Kenneth Leung from the Professional Commons is planning to table a private member’s bill at the LegCo to protect ‘whistle-blowing‘ in the public interest from civil liability
– The current Employment Ordinance bans employers from sacking their staff for giving evidence or information in legal proceedings or participating in trade union activities, but does not protect employees from civil liability for disclosing information under confidential agreement

Media Tycoon Jimmy Lai named one of 50 most influential people worldwide
– Next Media’s Jimmy Lai was named one of the 50 most influential people in the world by Bloomberg Market, alongside the likes of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Pope Francis
– Lai, ranked 40th and described as “the loudest voice of anti-Beijing protest in Hong Kong”, is the only Hong Kong presence on the list