High Tide (December 3rd 2015) – Daily political round up

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Police watchdog considers further actions over baton assault case; FC chairman: Pro-est could block rail link extra funding.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Gov’t & LegCo

Police Watchdog considers further actions over baton assault case
– The Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) said it was considering further actions over retired Police superintendent Franklin Chu allegedly assaulting pedestrians with his baton during the Occupy Movement
– The police watchdog ruled in July that the allegation was justified, but the police were still in the process of consulting the Department of Justice
– The IPCC hoped to touch upon the issue during next Tuesday’s joint conference with the police, and said it might submit a report to the Chief Executive and release a public report should the police dispute the ruling

Apologise or risk no extra funding for rail link, warns Finance Committee chairman
– LegCo’s Finance Committee chairman Chan Kin-por called on government officials to make serious efforts to ease Hongkongers’ discontent over the high-speed rail link delay and cost overrun, or the pro-est lawmakers would consider standing against an upcoming request for extra funding for the project in the committee
– Chan suggested an official apology and extra committee meetings to discuss the situation in January and March

LegCo endorses motion on combating bid-rigging
– Lawmakers from the two opposing camp voted in favour of a motion moved by DAB’s Christopher Chung on strengthening enforcement against bid-rigging activities
– Secretary for Development Paul Chan pledged to improve the situation while stating that there was no need to set up a new department to do the job
– LegCo will continue to debate a motion moved by Elizabeth Quat, also from DAB, on further banning the city’s ivory trade

Establishment of Travel Industry Authority delayed
– In a LegCo response to James Tien of Liberal Party, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So said the establishment of the Travel Industry Authority (TIA), an overall regulatory body of the tourism sector, will be delayed
– The relevant bill was expected to be tabled in the LegCo in 2014 so that the TIA could come into operation in 2015
– So said the drafting of the legislation was yet to be completed since a number of new elements, including “licensing of tourist guides and tour escorts, establishment of the disciplinary committee and appeal board”, would “require much complex drafting work”

URA official criticised for claiming recent subsidised flats row “political pollution”
– Managing Director of the Urban Renewal Authority Daniel Lam Chun was criticised for calling the recent row over the eligibility of single people to buy the authority’s subsidised flats as a “political pollution (ch)”
– In a letter to all board members, Lam said the “pollution” was spreading from the Kowloon-Canton Railway to the University of Hong Kong Council controversy and now to the URA
– Civic Party’s Dennis Kwok, Wu Chi-wai of Democratic Party and Ann Chiang of DAB, who were all URA non-executive board members, said Lam’s statement was “inappropriate” and “unacceptable”

Official plays down impact and source of harmful chemicals found in reservoirs
– Chief Chemist of the Water Supplies Department Kelvin Kwok Yau-ting confirmed the finding of harmful perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in five of Hong Kong’s reservoirs, but stressed that the concentration levels were still relatively low
– Kwok also said the concentration of PFCs could be related to high human activities at the sites and may not be attributable to the Dongjiang river, contrary to the Greenpeace report