High Tide (October 19th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Public hospital doctors to launch mass sit-in for pay rise; Rival groups hold protests over court cases involving seven officers and Ken Tsang.

Photo: Chris Lusher


 

Government & LegCo

Public hospital doctors plan sit-in in fight for 3% pay rise
– The Public Doctors’ Association is calling on its members to gather at the main lobby of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Wednesday for a 90-minute mass sit-in for a 3% pay rise in line with top civil servants
– Association chairman Dr Pierre Chan Pui-yin said the Hospital Authority had followed pay adjustments for civil servants in the past 20 years or more
– An authority spokesperson called for calm and negotiations while stressing that it could not afford the pay rise which would cost it more than HKD200m a year

Financial Secretary underlines low unemployment ahead of release of official figure
– Financial Secretary John Tsang said low unemployment could drive the city’s economic growth against negative external factors, ahead of the announcement of the latest unemployment rate
– The unemployment rate stood at 3.3% in the second quarter of 2015 and remained stable at 3.4% over the last year
– Tsang cautioned that a strong USD could further affect the city’s trade competitiveness and said a rise in US interest rates was “a matter of time”

CE receives visiting Croatian President
– CY Leung met the visiting Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović at Government House, with his usual rhetoric on Hong Kong’s dual advantages of “one country” and “two systems” and as a “super-connector” between the mainland market and the rest of the world
– Meanwhile, Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah departed for Fuzhouand attended the heads of delegation meeting of the 1st National Youth Games while Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung is on his way toVienna to give a plenary presentation at the “Walk21 Vienna 2015-XVI International Conference on Walking and Liveable Communities”

Politics (General)

Rival groups hold respective protest ahead of trials on assault cases involving seven police officers and Ken Tsang
– Dozens of yellow-ribbon activists marched from Southorn Playground in Wan Chai to the Police Headquarters and Government Comlpex to protest against the Department of Justice’s prosecution of Ken Tsang (ch), which was slammed as an attempt to ‘hedge’ the charges against seven police officers who allegedly assault Tsang during the Occupy Movement
– The pro-Beijing Justice Alliance, led by Leticia Lee See-yin, held separate protest in support of the seven officers
– Both cases will be heard by the court later today at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts

More controversies surrounding new Lingnan council member Junius Ho
– Pro-Beijing lawyer Junius Ho, who was recently appointed to the Lingnan University council, sparked more controversies at yesterday’s RTHK City Forum as he wrongly addressed the university he is going to supervise as ‘Lingnan College (ch)’ (to be fair, the university was indeed known as a ‘college’ from 1978 to 1999 before it was granted full university status – welcome back to the future, Mr Ho)
– Ho again refused to make any promise on safeguarding institutional autonomy and academic freedom as he did not want to offer a ‘blank cheque’ and said people could do evil “in the name of academic freedom”