Harbour Crossings November 14

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Govt proposes “parental responsibility” to replace child custody; People Power plans motion of no confidence against FC chariman; CE to visit the Philippines on Nov 17.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Government proposes ‘parental responsibility’ to replace child custody
– The Government will start a four-month public consultation by the end of November on replacing the traditional, outdated term ‘child custody’ with a non-absolute ‘parental responsibility
– The bill, dubbed as the “children’s bill”, would help avoid legal disputes between parents and give their children more rights during legal proceedings
– Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung said a “safe venue” would be established next year for children from divorced families to meet a parent in a supervised environment

Testing fully flushed water samples could not give the true picture, experts tell lead-in-water inquiry
– The government-appointed inquiry into the lead-in-water saga was told by a group of experts that local authorities’ method of collecting water samples for lead test “would not give a representative assessment of the concentration of lead or other metals” in pipes
– The experts cited the examples of the UK and the US where the first litre of water is drawn from the tap without flushing, and in Japan where a water sample is taken after five minutes of flushing followed by 15 minutes of stagnation
– The Hong Kong government’s, meanwhile, took water samples from taps that had run for five to 30 minutes during its investigation works

Lawmakers meet visiting EU delegates, pan-dems on post-political reform circumstances
– Four lawmakers, namely Emily Lau of Democratic Party, Alan Leong of Civic Party, Lee Cheuk-yan of Labour Party, and Felix Chung of the moderate pro-est Liberal Party, met with the visiting European Union’s Special Representative for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis
– The pan-dem lawmakers were briefing Lambrinidis on Hong Kong’s post-political reform situation, Hong Kong-China human rights issues, and the recent University of Hong Kong saga (criticised by pro-Beijing media as yet another example of foreign influences (ch))
– Lord Johnathan Hill, the European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, also visited Hong Kong and hosted a business luncheon yesterday
– The Hong Kong SAR, meanwhile, will sent a seven member team to attend the UN’s Committee against Torture and issued a report to the committee regarding Occupy Central, which read, “The Police, in order to maintain public order and ensure public safety, had no alternative but to use the minimum level of forcewhen confronted with violent acts and to arrest the persons concerned”

People Power plans motion of no confidence against Finance Committee chairman
– Radical lawmakers Albert Chan and Raymond Chan of the People Power were planning to move a motion of no confidence (ch) against Finance Committee chairman Chan Kin-por as he curbed the filibuster concerning the establishment of the Innovation and Technology Bureau
– Albert Chan moved a motion to adjourn during yesterday’s Finance Committee meeting, during which lawmakers were discussing a funding proposal for a Joint-user Government Office Building in Cheung Sha Wan, but the motion was voted down
– The party was considering taking the move after the District Council elections

CY Leung and Gregory So to attend APEC meetings
– CY Leung will visit the Philippines to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2015 Leaders’ Week and other related meetings in Manila from November 17 to November 19 (Ed note: What a great reason for the CE not to be in Hong Kong during the World Cup qualifier match versus China!)
– Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So will also depart for the Philippines, ahead of Leung, to attend the 27th APEC Ministerial Meeting on November 16 and 17

Politics (General)

Education lawmaker calls on HKU alumni to vote on council chairmanship motion amid seemingly low turnout rate
– Education lawmaker and convenor of the University of Hong Kong Alumni Concern Group Ip Kin-yuen urged fellow alumni to “act immediately” as the alumni affairs office only received 28 proxy forms so far to vote in the Convocation – a statutory body comprising all 162,000 graduates and teachers – on November 29
– In the Convocation’s last meeting in September, more than 6,000 proxy forms were received to vote on motions related to the appointment of Johannes Chan as pro-vice-chancellor
– Ip said tightened rules for submitting proxy forms could be a reason for the seemingly low turnout rate as of late
– The Convocation will vote on five non-binding motions, one dimmed Arthur Li as “not suitable” to chair the HKU Council