High Tide (November 3rd 2015) – Daily political round up

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Gov’t unaware of risks posed by lead-containing solder; HKU under fire for ‘misleading’ statement on media injunction.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Government & LegCo

Anthony Cheung admits Government unaware of high risks of solder pipe material as court inquiry on lead-in-water scandal starts
– Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung told the judge-led panel investigating the lead-in-water saga that the construction industry and government were unaware of health risks posed by lead material used to solder pipes before the revelation by democrat Helena Wong
– Cheung was however questioned by head of the panel Paul Shieh Wing-tai as Shieh cited examples of global concerns over lead in water pipes which could be dated back to 2000
– Shieh also noted that workers could save HKD76 per public housing flat for using lead-containing solder

Abandoning MPF offsetting mechanism not likely to be included in consultation paper for long-awaited retirement protection scheme
– The Commission on Poverty may not include abandoning the MPF offsetting mechanism into the upcoming consultation paper for retirement protection (ch) in December
– The paper would meanwhile state the role played by MPF under the proposed retirement protection package

LegCo to debate on Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and TSA
– Lawmakers will debate on Wednesday’s meeting a motion, to be moved by democrat Helena Wong, on extending the application of sections 3 and 8 of thePrevention of Bribery Ordinance to the CE
– Chiang Lai-wan of DAB, meanwhile, will move a motion on strengthening vocational education
– The LegCo’s Panel on Education will hold a public hearing on the controversialTSA primary school tests with the presence of Secretary for Education Eddie Ng on November 29

Politics (General)

HKU under fire as media injunction allows republishing of leaked Council tapes
– The University of Hong Kong’s management was criticised for allegedlymisleading the public as it did not mention in last Friday’s press release a clause under the media injunction that would still allow the republishing of the two Council meeting tapes that were already leaked to the public
– HKU’s president and vice-chancellor Peter Mathieson stated that the decision to seek a media injunction was made by Council chairman Edward Leong
– Mathieson, meanwhile, will not join a delegation of presidents or vice-presidents of the eight government-funded universities and Secretary for Education Eddie Ng for a visit to Guangdong for exchanges

MTR’s new musical instrument registration policies criticised for ‘devil in the detail’
– As the MTR Corp started accepting registrations for a permit for oversized musical instruments, former Wan Chai District Council Chair Ada Wong Ying-kay called on the public not to be fooled by the Corp, saying that ‘the devil’s in the detail’
– Wong cited in particular two terms which would allow the Corp’s staff to check permit-holders’ proof of identity and to retain the right to refuse permit-holders to being oversized musical instruments into the stations
– Permit-holders are also required to 1) Carry only one oversized musical instrument at any one time; 2) Use the lift; and 3) Leave musical instrument behind in the event of emergency evacuation along the track