High Tide (November 12th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Motion on anti-graft law amendment blocked; Lead-tainted households to receive HKD20m; FS popularity at 7-year high.

Photo: Chris Lusher


 

Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Motion to amend anti-graft law voted down
– A motion moved by democrat Helena Wong on extending the application of sections 3 and 8 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance to the CE was negatived in the LegCo as it failed to secure at least half of the functional constituencies votes after pro-est lawmakers (except four Liberal Party members) either voted it down or abstained
– Shortly before the vote, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam stressed it could be against the CE’s constitutional role to request the CE to seek permission before accepting an advantage and accused the pan-dems of playing politics
– DAB’s Ip Kwok-him said the Chinese Premier is the CE’s direct superior and a legal amendment of such would require a permission from Beijing
– The LegCo’s Panel on Food Safety and Environmental Hygiene, meanwhile, passed a motion calling for the establishment of a committee for animal rights

Friend or Unfriend: Lawmakers discussed CY Leung’s Facebook account
– Lawmakers brought CY Leung’s new Facebook page into discuss for almost half an hour during yesterday’s LegCo meeting
– Independent Lam Tai-fai raised questions over why not all the members of ExCo, LegCo, DC and NPC deputies were invited to Leung’s friend list and asked whether this approach was constructive to the improving of relationship between the executive authorities and the legislature
– Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah dodged most of the questions, also raised by Kwok Ka-ki of Civic Party and IT lawmaker Charles Mok, stressing the CE would “continue to communicate with the public through a variety of means, without confining himself to any particular channel” and said the CE’s Facebook account is maintained and updated by his office
– Lee Cheuk-yan of Labour Party joked Leung should learn from his daughter Leung Chai-yan if he wanted more ‘friends’

CS: Contractors pledge HKD20m for lead-tainted household water bills as compensation
– Chief Secretary Carrie Lam announced that tenants in 11 lead-tainted public housing estates will receive from January 1, 2016, subsidies totalling about HKD20m from four contractors as compensation of the saga
– Lam said the initiative was only a ‘goodwill‘ offer from the contractors and was unrelated to the issue of responsibility
– Pundits took the initiative as a move to offset the negative impacts on the pro-est camp’s image after the outbreak of the scandal

Government to step up funding on tourism promotions
– Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development said the government will allocate HKD5m to the Tourism Board to step up promotions on mainland internet forums, travel information websites and traditional media
– Ten local tourist attractions, including Disneyland, Ocean Park, and Ngong Ping 360, will receive HKD10m under the Matching Fund for Overseas Tourism Promotion by Tourist Attractions

Government proposes amendment on MPF default investment arrangements
– An amendment bill on improving the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF)’s default investment arrangements will be gazetted on November 13 and introduced into the LegCo for first reading on November 25
– Under the proposed bill, MPF trustees “will be required to gradually reduce a scheme member’s exposure to relatively higher risk investments as he approaches the age of retirement” while a statutory management fee control mechanism with a maximum annual rate of 0.75% of the net asset value of the Default Investment Strategy constituent funds will be introduced

Politics (General)

Ken Tsang case to be presented at UN torture hearing
– Occupy activist and Civic Party member Ken Tsang, who was allegedly assaulted by seven police officers during the Occupy Movement, said he would present his case to the UN’s Committee Against Torture hearing next week
– Tsang will be accompanied by Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau, who will also present alleged cases of police misconducts to the committee

John Tsang’s popularity at seven-year high, HKU pollster finds
– The University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Programme released its latest public ratings of senior officials
– Financial Secretary John Tsang scored 61.8, his highest since April 2008, while Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man remained the most successful senior official with a support rate of 71%