High Tide (November 29th 2015) – Daily political round up

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LegCo to hold 10-hour hearing on TSA; URA reconsiders eligibility for single buyers; STH defends late-night statement.

Photo: Chris Lusher


 

Gov’t & LegCo

LegCo to hold 10-hour public hearing on controversial primary school tests
– The LegCo’s Panel on Education (ch) will hold a special public hearing on TSA tests from 9am to 7:30pm today with 39 deputations and individuals taking part in the discussion
– Acting Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung is the chief representative of the administration as Secretary for Education Eddie Ng is not in the city for “personal reasons”
– The Panel received 164 opinion letters ahead of the hearing, among which about 80% argued against continuation of the controversial tests

URA to reconsider eligibility of single people for its subsidised flats
– The Urban Renewal Authority is considering halving income eligibility and asset limits for single people to buy its subsidised flats to HKD30,000 and HKD1.5m respectively
– Four lawmakers sitting on the authority’s board earlier slammed the authority for not consulting them enough over a move that was suggested to avoid a possible judicial review under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance
– Democrat Wu Chi-wai, one of the four lawmakers, said the authority was “over-worried” about legal risks and said the choice of the flats single people can choose should be further limited

Privacy Commissioner and Law Society raise concern over terms & conditions of mobile apps
– Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data Wong Stephen Wong called on young people to be more aware of the terms and conditions of mobile apps (ch) before downloading them
– A recent Hong Kong Law Society survey interviewing 513 Form 4 to From 6 students shows that almost half of the participants considered mobile apps’ terms and conditions as intrusive but would still download the apps

Transport chief dismisses criticisms of late-night release on cross-border bridge delay
– Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung defended a late-night press release about the delay of completion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge to 2017
– The Hong Kong Journalists Association blasted the administration for trying to dodge media inquiries over such an important issue and said it would file a complaint to the Ombudsman
– Cheung dismissed the allegation and said the statement was released in an urgent manner to clear online rumours of further delays of the project

Environment minister to visit Berlin ahead of COP
– Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing will depart for Berlin tonight to “share with the German authorities their experience in energy saving and energy efficiency” and to attend the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group meetings
– Wong will then take part in the COP21 High-level Segment on December 7

Politics (General)

‘Umbrella soldiers’ cautious over meeting with youth commissioner
– ‘Umbrella soldier’ and newly elected district councillor Clarisse Yeung said she would not consider a meeting with chairman of the Commission on Youth Lau Ming-wai for the moment
– Lau earlier said he was planning to meet with young district councillors to understand their election experience
– Yeung also said undersecretary for Mainland and Constitutional Affairs Ronald Chan Facebook messaged her to come out and “have a drink and chat (ch)” (Ed note: an online invitation from a middle-aged man, sounds rather suspicious)
– Another elected ‘umbrella soldier’ Wong Chi-ken and localist group Youngspiration also stated that they would not attend any closed-door meeting with government officials
– Meanwhile, localist group Hong Kong Indigenous followed Youngspiration to state their interest in running in next year’s LegCo by-election

Democrat’s party membership revoked after running in DC elections despite party warning
– Democratic Party decided to terminate Virginia Fung King-man‘s membership after the latter disregarded party warning urging her not to run in the Hung Hom Bay constituency in Kowloon City for several times
– Fung, who got 162 votes, was running against the pro-est incumbent Cheung Yan-hong (1,811 votes) and the pan-dem Labour Party candidate Chiu Shi-shun (1,740 votes)
– Fung joined joined the “Gau Wu (shopping)” protest after the Umbrella Movement and her membership had been suspended since October

FCC ends flagship charity event
– The Foreign Correspondents’ Club decided to stop organising its flagship charity event, the Charity Ball, ending the 14-year long formal partnership with Po Leung Kuk
– Two governors of the club responsible for organising the annual event resigned following failure of the board to come up with a solution to solve the event’s growing “size and complexity”
– The event had raised more than HKD100m for Po Leung Kuk over the past 14 years – the ticket price of the last ball was HKD2,888