High Tide (November 19th 2015) – Daily political round up

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

Audit Commission reports on underpaid mail, food waste and more; Spiritual leaders call for dialogue.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Director of Audit reports underpaid paid mail, food waste recycling, vacant schools, and more
– Hongkong Post was slammed in the Report of the Director of Audit for failing to detect underpaid mail as 86% of test letters passed through the system despite being improperly stamped or not paid at all
– Hongkong Post staff worked overtime (ch) for a total of 1.36m hours and were paid HKD180m as compensation
– 71 vacant schools out of 234 were not handled back to the government, with 49 left idle
– Hong Kong’s daily food waste (ch) increased to 3600 tonnes, up 15% compared with the 2005 level while the Environmental Protection Department’s Food Wise Charter did not receive positive response from government departments
– Other areas examined by the Audit Commission included burial and cremation services, management of the public lighting system, efforts of the Narcotics Division and Beat Drugs Fund in combating drug abuse, and protection of revenue on dutiable commodities and motor vehicle first registration tax

Pro-est lawmakers slam Claudia Mo and Gary Fan for ‘anti-Mainlandisation’ motion
– Lawmakers debated a motion moved by Claudia Mo of Civic Party on ‘anti-Mainlandisation (ch)’ in yesterday’s LegCo meeting
– Gary Fan of Neo Democrats said Hongkongers’ support to the football team during Tuesday’s match against China reflected a considerable gap between people from the the sides
– Various pro-est lawmakers, including independent Lam Tai-fai and Regina Ip of the New People’s Party slammed Mo and Fan for over-politicising the match and for putting all the blame on the CE

Hong Kong signs CDTA with Romania
– Financial Secretary John Tsang signed in Bucharest a comprehensive agreement for the avoidance of double taxation (CDTA) with the Romanian’ counterpart, State Secretary for Public Finance Attila György
– “This is the 33rd comprehensive agreement for the avoidance of double taxation (CDTA) that Hong Kong has signed with its trading partners,” Tsang said
– CY Leung, meanwhile, met with Chinese president Xi Jinping in Manila on the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and said Xi and the Central Government “fully affirmed [his] work, and that of [his] government”

Hong Kong population expected to peak in 2043, government reports
– A government document submitted to the Legislative Council expected that Hong Kong’s population will peak in 2043 at 8.22m
– The document said 879,000 mainland Chinese settled in Hong Kong through the one-way permit since 1997, and mainland immigrants would likely drive Hong Kong’s population growth in the coming thirty years or so

Politics (General)

Hong Kong spiritual leaders call for inter-religious dialogue
– Spiritual leaders in Hong Kong called for inter-religious ‘dialogue’ during an inaugural international conference on peaceful co-existence attended by some 250 scholars and representatives of various faiths including Muslims, Christians and Buddhists
– Hong Kong’s chief imam Muhammad Arshad proposed to use the word ‘dialogue’ and said it was necessary “especially today when there are people who are killing innocent people indiscriminately”
– LegCo president Jasper Tsang was the chief guest of the conference, who also touched upon the recent terrorist attacks in France

China & World

US review commission on China reports on Hong Kong’s deteriorating autonomy and press freedom
– The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission under the US Congress released its annual report 2015, in which it raised several issues regarding Hong Kong including press and academic freedom as well as the city’s increasing financial connection with China
– “Press freedom in Hong Kong is increasingly under pressure due to recent instances of violence against journalists, increasing political and economic pressure to self-censor, and use of economic coercion to disrupt independent reporting,” the report read
– The report also mentioned the HKU pro-vice-chancellor appointment saga, saying that it is “only one example of Beijing’s interference in Hong Kong academia”
– The report expressed worries over Beijing’s continued efforts “to undermine the autonomy of Hong Kong, and use incentives and intimidation to draw Taiwan closer to the Mainland”