High Tide (October 17th 2015) – Daily political round up

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LegCo blocks motion to probe lead-in-water saga; Radical lawmakers willing to stop filibuster over ITB proposal.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Government & LegCo

LegCo voted down motion to invoke special power to investigate lead-in-water saga
– A motion moved by Gary Fan of Neo Democrats to invoke the LegCo’s special power to probe lead-in-water scandal got passage in the geographical constituency by 16 to 13 but was blocked by the pro-est in the functional constituency by 9 to 23
– Urging lawmakers to vote down the motion and defending civil servants, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam slammed the pan-dem lawmakers for politicising the incident and stirring up social discontent – and said she had the guts to say the provocative words out so that justice (to civil servants) is served
– Lam also blasted the pan-dems for demanding certain officials to drink lead-contaminated water, saying that she had ordered officials not to be pressured into drinking the water to “safeguard the government’s dignity”

Radical lawmakers willing to stop filibustering amid positive dialogue over InnoTech Bureau
– Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So promised at a Finance Committee meeting to unveil more details on the Innovation and Technology Bureau (ch) proposal
– Leung Kwok-hung of the League of Social Democrats and People Power’s Albert Chan were pleased by the progress and said they would not deploy filibuster against the funding proposal given that the government would offer more concrete details instead of vague visions over the ITB
– Meanwhile, Andrew Leung of BPA and Liberal Party’s Dennis Kwok were elected chair and vice-chair of the Subcommittee to Follow Up Issues Relating to the Three-runway System (ch) at the Hong Kong International Airport respectively

SJ reiterates ‘procedural fairness’ in cases against Ken Tsang and seven officers
– Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen dismissed any political consideration in the prosecutions against seven police officers who allegedly assaulted Civic Party member Ken Tsang and against Tsang who allegedly assaulted 11 officials and obstructed four others
– However, pro-Beijing lawmaker and chairman of the Panel on Security Ip Kwok-him believed that the prosecutions were made in the same day to manage the views of supporters from both sides
– It was also pointed out by scholars that Tsang’s complicated dual identity (victim and witness in one case and defendant in the other) could harm his witness credibility if he was convicted

Politics (General)

Lingnan University and CUHK to hold separate rallies over controversial council appointments
– Students’ unions of Lingnan University (ch) and Chinese University will hold separate rallies next week concerning recent appointments to the respective council
– Meanwhile, Leung Kwok-hung of LSD and People Power’s Raymond Chan both lost the bid for a seat for LegCo representatives on the HKU Council and CUHK Council

CY Leung “not welcome in London”
– Dozens of Hongkongers in London joined a protest led by the Hong Kong Overseas Alliance outside the Dorchester hotel, where the visiting CE was attending an event last night
– Protesters hoisted yellow umbrellas and chanted “Leung Chun-ying step down” and “I want genuine universal suffrage”

Hongkongers’ quality of life declined last year, CUHK research finds
– The Chinese University’s Centre for Quality of Life released the Quality of Life Index 2014 which saw the latest index score dropped by 0.17 points from 101.92 in 2013 to 101.75 last year
– The Health, Social and Economic sub-indices dropped while the Culture & Leisure and Environmental subindices slightly improved compared with the scores of 2013