High Tide (November 27th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Gov’t proposes stricter regulations on voter registration; Motion to scrap TSA rejected; Fifth leakage of HKU Council tape.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Gov’t & LegCo

Government proposes stricter regulations on voter registration
– The government issued a public consultation paper on improving the voter registration system after the authorities received some 1,500 complaints over voter irregularities ahead of last Sunday’s district council elections
– Proposed measures include raising the penalties for making false statements in voter registration from the current maximum penalties of a fine of HKD5,000 and imprisonment for six months to HKD10,000 and two years, as well as requiring applicants to submit address proof when submitting applications for new registrations or change of registration particulars
– Democratic party vice-chairman Wan Siu-kin said the measures were still insufficient to deter vote-rigging and suggested raising the penalties to equal that of corrupt practices at elections (a fine of HKD500,000 and imprisonment of seven years)

Motion to scrap controversial primary school tests voted down in LegCo
– A motion moved by People Power’s Albert Chan to abolish the controversialTSA tests in primary schools was blocked as pro-est lawmakers either voted it down or abstained
– Meanwhile, lawmakers were one vote short of passing another motion, moved by Chan Hak-kan of DAB on ‘developing the economy and improving people’s livelihood’, as FTU’s Wong Kwok-hing did not show up for the vote after spending quite some time slamming pan-dems for filibustering
– When debating the second motion, Accountancy lawmaker Kenneth Leung said the English word ‘politics’ came from the Greek word ‘poly’, meaning ‘many [people]’ – He was soon corrected by president Jasper Tsang, who said the origin of the word was actually ‘poli (ch)’ which refers to ancient Greek’s ‘city’ or ‘city-state’

Hong Kong hosts ninth Structured Dialogue with EU
– The ninth annual Hong Kong-EU Structured Dialogue was held in Hong Kong and was co-chaired by Deputy Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Commerce and Industry) Carol Yuen and Acting Managing Director for Asia and Pacific of the European External Action Service Ugo Astuto
– The two sides briefed each other on the latest developments in their economies
– Lawmakers meanwhile received a delegation from the Fukuoka City Council and member of the House of Representatives Daishiro Yamagiwa

Politics (General)

HKU tape saga continues as new leakage features Arthur Li suggesting legal actions against students
– Another tape was leaked on a Taiwanese online forum, this time featuring University of Hong Kong Council’s outgoing chairman Edward Leong and member Arthur Li in a different meeting believed to be held on August 25 – prior to the one in which council members rejected the appointment of Johannes Chan as pro-vice-chancellor
– In the recording, the Council was heard discussing the event on July 28 of which students charged into the Council’s meeting place
– Arthur Li was heard saying: “I can take civil actions against University of Hong Kong. I can take criminal [civil] actions against the students.”
– Another Council member Leonie Ki Man-fung said the students’ ambush was “organised” and “orchestrated”
– Edward Leong said the follow-up action would be to identity the students involved “all over the Facebook”