High Tide (November 20th 2015) – Daily political round up

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‘Anti-mainlandisation’ motion blocked; HA approves special pay rise; Higher turnout in dc elections likely.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

‘Anti-mainlandisation’ motion rejected as home affairs minister warns of xenophobia
– An ‘anti-mainlandisation‘ motion moved by Claudia Mo of Civic Party and an amendment raised by Gary Fan of Neo Democrats were both voted down in yesterday’s LegCo meeting
– Mo defined ‘mainlandisation’ as “fakeness, rampant corruption and the abuse of power”
– The amendment from Fan included asserting control over immigration policy on one-way permit, reviewing Hong Kong-Shenzhen integration, putting an end to white elephant projects, and abandoning Putonghua teaching as a long term target in favour of Cantonese
– During the debate Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah warned against “seeing different cultures with a narrow perspective”

Hospital Authority Board approves special pay rise for senior staff members
– The Hospital Authority Board further discussed and approved a special pay riseof 3% for around 3 200 of its senior staff members
– The additional financial commitment is about HKD216m per annum and HKD100m one-off in 2015-16
– Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said he noted the HA “has the ability to sustain and absorb the recurrent expenses arising from this salary adjustment decision” in the long run
Harbour Times earlier discussed whether the doctors’ demand was justified – read here

Competition Commission receives 400 inquiries/complaints ahead of official launch
– The Competition Commission (ch) announced it had already received some 400 inquiries and complaints ahead of its official launch on December 14
– Most of the complaints concerned undertakings engaged in cartel conduct and price control
– The Commission released the Enforcement Policy policy which states it “may prioritise taking action against” associations and/or officers, including directors of undertakings in the case of cartel conduct

Politics (General)

Developers file judicial review over controversial harbourfront renovation project
– Sino Group associate Murdoch Investments and Shangri-La Hotel (Kowloon) Ltd under Kerry Group filed a judicial review challenging an earlier Town Planning Board approval of the controversial Avenue of Stars renovation works, claiming that the project was “illegally” and “unfairly” approved
– Murdoch and Shangri-La, which owned the Tsim Sha Tsui Centre and the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel respectively, argued that the Town Planning Board did not take the negative impacts on nearby public viewing points and traffic into full consideration

Higher turnout expected in upcoming district council elections
– The University of Hong Kong Public Opinion Programme surveyed 1,052 registered voters and 71% said they would vote in Sunday’s district council elections – up 5% compared with a 2011 survey during the same period
– Meanwhile, Only 30% said they had decided which candidate to vote for – down 7% compared to the 2011 findings
– HKUPOP research manager Frank Lee Wai-kin in a statement expected a higher turnout rate but few loyal voters

Anson Chan expresses ‘disappointment’ over ex-colleague’s remarks on HKU senior appointment
– Former Chief Secretary Anson Chan expressed disappointment in a media interview that ex-colleague and University of Hong Kong Council member Rosanna Wong Yick-ming “should know better” in defending the autonomy of the university
– An audio tape of Wong speaking at a HKU Council meeting, saying the appointment of Johannes Chan as pro-vice-chancellor would further divide the university, was leaked about two weeks ago
– Chan and Wong both served as Executive Council members during Chris Patten’s administration
– Education lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen, meanwhile, slammed CY Leung for his decision not to attend the congregation ceremonies for any of Hong Kong’s universities and higher education institutes