High Tide (December 5th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Transport chief apologises for rail link delay and cost overrun; Emily Lau proposes pre-election primary debates.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Gov’t & LegCo

Transport chief apologises for Express Rail Link delay and cost overrun
– Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung offered an apology to the public during a LegCo meeting regarding the Express Rail Link delay and cost overrun
– Lawmakers also expressed concern over the co-location arrangements, with Civic Party stating that they would vote down the HKD19.6bn extra funding request if the Government insists on allowing mainland officers to enforce law on Hong Kong soil
– CY Leung dismissed the concern, saying that similar arrangements existed in North America and Europe
– The Public Work Subcommittee is also debating the HKD5.46bn extra funding for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge construction works

‘Authority’ barring pro-est district councillors from compromising with pan-dems on key posts
– Sing Tao Daily reported that ‘the authority‘ was giving orders to pro-est district councillors not to negotiate with their pan-dem counterparts when deciding who should be chair and vice chair
– It was reported that ‘the authority’ was particularly displeased by pro-est councillors trying to compromise with pan-dems in Sha Tin and Sham Shui Po district councils, where the pro-est only have a one-seat advantage
– Meanwhile, the Liaison Office was said to be interfering into the Social Workers Registration Board election

Pan-dems request to postpone LegCo debate on ‘Internet Article 23’
– Pan-dem lawmakers requested to postpone Wednesday’s second reading on the controversial Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2014 for a week as president Jasper Tsang was yet to announce how many of Wong Yuk-man’s 903 amendments application on the bill would be approved
– The pan-dems said they would vote down the legislation on internet copyright protection if their suggestions on expanding the exemption range were rejected

Eddie Ng defends claim that he can read 30 books in a month
– Secretary for Education Eddie Ng defended his earlier claim that he reads 30 books, magazines and publications every month, saying that meeting the target was “a piece of cake” (Ed note: Fair enough, if government reports count as ‘publications’.)
– Ng was reportedly enjoying his time travelling in Japan (ch) when a public hearing on TSA was held last weekend

Politics (General)

Developer and 11 villagers jailed for small house scam
– A Hong Kong development and 11 indigenous were convicted of deceiving the Government in a small house scam and were sentenced to three years in prison for the longest one
– The developer approached the villagers to buy their small house rights – a special right offered to indigenous male villagers in rural New Territories – and used their names to deceived the Lands Department
– Heung Yee Kuk (the Rural Council) said it would liaise with lawmakers and the authority to work out a way to refine the decaying system

Democratic Party to discuss primary proposal for upcoming LegCo election
– Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau proposed to hold primary debates to select the candidates for next year’s LegCo election
– All Democratic Party members will vote on the proposal which suggested holding a forum in each constituency for potential candidates to face the public