High Tide (October 24th 2015) – Daily political round up

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FC to vote on ITB proposal on Fri; TPB rejected anti-tram proposal; Tsing Ma Bridge shut for 2 hrs.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Government & LegCo

New Finance Committee chairman sets date for ITB vote to curb filibuster
– Insurance legislator Chan Kin-por stated in yesterday’s Finance Committee meeting that next Friday would be the “appropriate (ch)” day for committee members to end the ITB debate and vote on the controversial government initiative
– Lawmakers were asked to submit their amendments by Tuesday and will each be allowed to speak for one last chance
– Independent Wong Yuk-man had so far submitted about 300 amendments

LegCo by-election to be held on Feb 28
– The Government announced that the by-election for for the LegCo New Territories East geographical constituency will be held on Feb 28 with a nomination period from Jan 5 to 18
– The by-election was triggered following former Civic Party member Ronny Tong’s announcement to resign in June
– Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu, Civic Party’s no.2 in the candidate listing in NT East GC in 2012 LegCo elections, was tapped by Tong as the “appropriate” candidate and had shown interest in standing for the upcoming poll

Town Planning Board rejects anti-tram proposal
– The Town Planning Board rejected a proposal by former Government town planner Sit Kwok-keung to remove trams from Central
– At the TPB meeting, Sit called trams a “historical problem” but failed to provide enough evidence to support his claims other than a half-a-page long proposal based on impression
– Meanwhile, three historic buildings, namely the 108-year-old Signal Tower in Tsim Sha Tsui, the 93-year-old Race Course Fire Memorial at the Happy Valley Racecourse, and the façade of the 123-year-old Old Mental Hospital in Sai Ying Pun, were added to the list of declared monuments by the Government

Police issue first ever internal notice urging staff to vote in DC elections
– Police issued their first ever internal notice urging staff to fulfil civic duty (ch) by voting in the upcoming district council elections
– Meanwhile, the Independent Police Complaints Council endorsed a complaint – out of 19 – that police officers abused their power when filming a protester in close range
– Officers were also caught recently attempting to confiscate banners featuring yellow umbrellas from the campaign booth of a pro-democracy District Council candidate who is running in Ha Pak Tin constituency in Shek Kip Mei

Politics (General)

Traffic paralysed and flights halted amid emergency closure of Tsing Ma Bridge
– Tsing Ma Bridge was shut for emergency check and all road and rail services on the only road and rail link between Lantau Island and the rest of Hong Kong were suspended for two hours after a vessel hit part of its structure
– The MTR also closed its in-town check-in service at the request of the bridge operator and said said it could not provide shuttle services due to traffic congestion
– Flights departing after 11pm were delayed by up to an hour

‘Occupy Hotel’ taken off on Airbnb following Government inspections
– The ‘Occupy Hotel‘ in Causeway Bay was reportedly taken down from the Airbnb listing shortly following two inspections by the Office of the Licensing Authority
– Operator of the apartment Stephen Thompson said Airbnb did not give any reason for the de-listing

Mainland student wins seat in HKU Council with 3% turnout rate
– Mainland postgraduate Zhu Ke beat rival Anabelle Mak by 274 votes to 51 to represent postgraduate students in the University of Hong Kong’s Council
– There are some 11,000 enrolling postgraduates in HKU, meaning that the turnout rate was a mere 3%

China & World

UK Prime Minister touches on Hong Kong political freedom in Xi’s visit
– David Cameron sought assurances from Chinese President Xi Jinping that Hong Kong shall remain self-autonomous and entitled the rights to choose its own leadership without Beijing’s prior vetting during their talks at the British prime minister’s country retreat, Chequers
– Pan-dems were not impressed, however, saying that Cameron’s remarks came “too little and too late”