High Tide (October 10th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Pro-est capture all key posts in LegCo’s top committees; HK Post: Royal cypher “inappropriate”; 4000 join protest at HKU.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Government & LegCo

The pro-est strikes back: Loyalists monopolised four key posts in LegCo’s top committees
– Pro-establishment lawmakers seized all four chairman and vice-chairman postsof the LegCo’s House Committee (HC) and Finance Committee (FC) – the first time since the handover that they were not sharing any of the posts with the pan-dems
– Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen of BPA and Chan Kin-por were elected chairmen of the HC and FC while Ma Fung-kwok and DAB’s Chan Kam-lam would be their respective deputies
– DAB’s Tam Yiu-chung said they have “no choice” but to take all posts since the pan-dems failed to name a candidate acceptable to the pro-est
– Meanwhile, Chan Kin-por immediately received a request by the Government to hold three extra-meetings, totalling 12 hours, on funding for the controversialInnovation and Technology Bureau (ch) on October 16, 23, 30
– The two camps will continue to battle for posts in 18 panels and two subcommittees on Wednesday and Thursday

HK Post: Royal cypher on old mailboxes considered “inappropriate” by the Government
– Hongkong Post issued a statement saying that the Government “considers it inappropriate to display the crown and the British royal cypher on old posting boxes that are still in service, and is looking into ways to update the markings on these boxes”
– The Post said there are about 1150 street mailboxes in town, of which 59 are the ones in ‘colonial-style’
– Ironically, just one year ago the Post was still defending the continued use of colonial-era mailboxes, saying that it was “not right” to link the royal crown on mailboxes to political incorrectness

Hong Kong to start CEPA negotiations with Macao
– The Government announced that it will soon commence negotiations on the Hong Kong and Macao Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (HK-Macao CEPA) with its sister SAR
– Key elements of the HK-Macao CEPA included minimising non-tariff barriers, liberalisation of trade in services and of investment as well as cooperation in the area of intellectual property and legal and institutional arrangements

Disciplined services told by Beijing’s congress chairman to “strictly enforce law”
– Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok, who is leading a 120-strong Hong Kong Disciplined Services Cultural Exchange Delegation to Beijing, was received by chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee Zhang Dejiang at the Great Hall of the People
– Lai, speaking after the meeting, said Zhang praised police’s handling of the Occupy Movement and told the services to “strictly enforce the law
– Meanwhile, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam will lead another delegation to Beijing and Xi’an tomorrow as an annual reciprocal visit between the HKSAR Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Political (General)

4,000 joins protest at HKU to safeguard academic freedom – while CY Leung makes his move on Lingnan University
– About 4,000 people, including students and teaching staff of the University of Hong Kong and members of 18 professional groups, joined a rally at HKU to protest against political interference on the city’s educational affairs
– Some participants wore t-shirts with the Martin Luther King quote: “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”
– CY Leung was urged to reveal details of a meeting with HKU vice-chancellor Peter Mathieson in the weeks before the rejection of Johannes Chan’s appointment
– The week saw a series of events and protests to safeguard academic freedom, including a 2,000 people march in Wednesday and the launch of a new monitoring group formed by scholars across the city’s universities
– HKUSU president Billy Fung said there would be no class boycott in the short term after discussing with fellow students

Pro-Beijing figures appointed to Lingnan University Council
– CY Leung appointed two more pro-Beijing figures, namely Maggie Chan Man-ki of DAB and New Territories Concern Group’s spokesman Junius Ho Kwan-yiu as members of the Lingnan University Council
– Maggie Chan was the one who sought an injunction on behalf of a minibus company to force protesters to leave the Mong Kok Occupy area while Junius Ho is a former president of the Law Society of Hong Kong who leant toward siding with the Government during the Movement
– In April, Ho spoke out against a controversial Lingnan University concert which featured the song “Fxxk The Police”

Henry Tang calls CY Leung “the devil I know”
– In an interview with AM730 (ch), former Chief Secretary Henry Tang said it might be better for CY Leung to take office for another term, calling Leung “the devil I know
– Tang said Leung had in general made “positive progress with economic and livelihood issues” but was mainly responsible for the increasingly discordant society
– Tang also named a few capable CE candidates, including Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, Financial Secretary John Tsang, Regina Ip of New People’s Party and former Financial Secretary Antony Leung
– Tang said it would not be a good idea for the next administration to re-initiate the political reform since the society needs more time to recuperate