High Tide (October 27th 2015) – Daily political round up

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SED defends TSA in primary schools; HKU Council to discuss punishment for the ‘whistle-blower’; Ronny Tong on moderates.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Government & LegCo

Education minister dismisses call to scrap primary school exam scheme
– Secretary for Education Eddie Ng again dismissed calls to abandon the TSA, city-wide exams for Primary Three students, saying that he had “yet to be told that we should kill or eliminate this TSA in terms of its original objective” and that the TSA itself is “a really good tool”
– Nearly 40,000 people already signed up to a Facebook petition against the TSA and the organiser Clement Kam Yee-ling said he would file an open letter to the Education Bureau once the number supporters hit 50,000

More debates on drinking water safety in LegCo
– Lawmakers will debate on a motion moved by Civic Party’s Kwok Ka-ki to urge the Government to “immediately legislate for the safety of drinking water” today at the LegCo general meeting
– Commercial (Second) lawmaker Martin Liao, meanwhile, will move a motion on “seizing the opportunities brought about by “One Belt One Road” and seeking new directions for Hong Kong’s economy”

Hong Kong to loan legal experts to international trade law commission
– The HKSAR will loan its legal experts to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RCAP)
– Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding on technical and administrative arrangements relating to the loan with the Secretary of the UNCITRAL, Renaud Sorieul, following an agreement on September 16, 2015, between Beijing and the United Nations confirming the deal

Politics (General)

‘Whistle-blower’ Billy Fung set to face punishment as HKU Council meets
– The University of Hong Kong Council will discuss today punishment for students’ union president and Council member Billy Fung for disclosing confidential information after a Council meeting in which the appointment of Johannes Chan as pro-vice-chancellor was rejected
– HKU Academic Staff Association is considering possible actions to support Fung if the Council turned against him while the HKU Alumni Concern Group is looking into means to prevent the appointment of Arthur Li as the new Council chairman, including filing a judicial review and organising class boycotts
– Meanwhile, HKU scholar and Occupy co-founder Benny Tai decided not to challenge the HKU Council in court on “ulterior political motives” to punish him over donations

Ronny Tong: 40% of Hongkongers identify themselves as centrist
– Path of Democracy, the new think tank founded by former Civic Party core member Ronny Tong, reported that about 40% of Hongkongers would identify themselves as moderates
– The group commissioned the University of Hong Kong’s public opinion programme and interviewed 1,010 Hongkongers by telephone between October 12 and 17
– About 60% said a political cultural of “mutual respect” should be upheld while over 53% said it was necessary to communicate with Beijing

Tugboat captain in bridge collision allegedly ignored height limit
– The captain of the tugboat in the bridge collision incident reportedly ignored the structure’s height limit of the Kap Shui Mun Bridge as he allegedly knew the crane on board was broken and could not be lowered
– The captains could each face a maximum penalty of HKD10,000 and six months’ imprisonment

Former TVB manager found guilty in bribery charge following DoJ’s appeal
– The High Court ruled former TVB manager Stephen Chan Chi-wan and his assistant Edthancy Tseng Pei-kun guilty of a HKD112,000 bribery following a successful second appeal by the Department of Justice
– Judge Wally Yeung Chun-kuen overruled District Court Judge Poon Siu-tung’s original verdict which ruled the pair innocent in 2009 and again in 2013