High Tide (October 11th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Elders in poverty draw concern; HK politicians celebrate Double 10th Festival; UK handover negotiator dies at 88.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Government & LegCo

Attention drawn to elderly poverty at Commission on Poverty Summit
– While the theme of the Commission on Poverty Summit 2015 was ‘promoting youth upward mobility’, attentions were drawn to an extremely fast-ageing society despite a slight drop of the total population in poverty from 1.336m in 2013 to 1.325m last year
– Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said there were 44,000 more elderly people in 2014 compared with 2013 and that they are likely to be classified as under the poverty line – there were 9,000 more elders in poverty
– Lam stated that the limited definition of the poverty line overestimated the poverty situation among elders and a more in-depth analysis was needed
– The CS also pledged to provide concrete plans on retirement protection when a public consultation is launched in December
– Meanwhile, CY Leung said after the summit that he did not discuss with the University of Hong Kong vice-chancellor Peter Mathieson the issue of Johannes Chan’s appointment in a meeting weeks before the rejection by the HKU Council

Pan-dems can take five key posts in LegCo committees, pro-est lawmaker offers
– Ip Kwok-him of DAB said the pro-est camp is willing to let pan-dem lawmakers take two chairman posts and three vice-chairman posts (ch) in LegCo’s committees after claiming victory in the House Committee and Finance Committee
– The pro-est lawmakers will have the upper-hand in all remaining committees, sub-committees and panels with the exception of the Panel on Welfare Services
– Cyd Ho of Labour Party blasted Ip’s offer as disrespectful to the proportion of seats held by the pan-dems in the legislature and said they will continue to contest for all posts with an expectation that they would lose it all

Claudia Mo: CEDB is behind the mailbox saga
– Lawmaker Claudia Mo of the Civic Party revealed that the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) was the authority that manipulated the whole mailbox ‘decolonialisation’ (ch) saga after a meeting with postmaster Jessie Ting Yip Yin Mei and officials from the CEDB
– Mo said the authority had started planning on the move since March this year and therefore there was no causality between the move and recent rhetoric on ‘decolonialisation’

John Tsang attends IMF and World Bank meetings in Lima
– Financial Secretary John Tsang attended the Plenary Session of the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WB) in Lima, Peru, as a member of the Chinese delegation
– Tsang then attended a lunch with the Peruvian members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council and met with the Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Janet Yellen

Food & Health Secretary eyes poll on making organ donation automatic
– Responding to a recent tragedy of which a young patient waiting for lung transplant eventually died owing to the lack of suitable organ, Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said Hong Kong’s organ donation rate is low compared with those of many other developed countries and said there is a need to review organ donation measures in the city
– Ko said a poll would be needed to understand public reaction toward automatically making all Hongkongers organ donors unless they opt out

Political (General)

Hong Kong political figures celebrate 1911 revolution anniversary
– Former and current pro-democracy lawmakers Alan Leong, Wong Yuk-man, Fred Li Wah-ming and Nelson Wong, as well as Industrial sector lawmaker and CPPCC delegate Lam Tai-fai were spotted attending a reception at the InterContinental Hotel to celebrate Taiwan’s Double Tenth Festival, or the 104 anniversary of the 1911 revolution
– Meanwhile, special deputy minister of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council Steve Lin Chu-chia and more than 200 people from local pro-Taiwan groups participated in a ceremony at the Red House in Tuen Mun, which was a revolutionary base for Sun Yat-sen, singing the Taiwanese anthem and bowing to Sun’s statue

China & World

UK negotiator of the handover Geoffrey Howe dies at 88
– Former UK Conservative chancellor and former Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Secretary Sir Geoffrey Howe passed away at 88 after a suspected heart attack
– Howe became the foreign secretary for Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet in 1983 when the first round of the UK-Beijing negotiations on Hong Kong’s future began in Beijing
– Howe came to Hong Kong in the following year to officially announce the handover in 1997 and came again shortly after the Tiananmen massacre and rejected offering full British citizenship to Hongkongers

US Congress’s Commission on China calls for reconsideration on Hong Kong’s ‘separate treatment’ amid increasing Chinese influence in the city
– The US Congressional-Executive Commission on China released its 2015 Annual Report which also touched upon issues and developments concerning Hong Kong
– The report called on the US administration and Congress to reconsider allowing separate treatment for Hong Kong “particularly given the increasing role played by the central government in deciding Hong Kong’s political development and the corresponding erosions in Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedom of expression” and urged congressmen to consider “expressing support for Hong Kong democracy and human rights through resolutions, statements, and meetings at the highest levels during visits”
– The report also described the Occupy Movement as “non-violent protests” while calling the rejected political reform proposal as an “undemocratic framework”