High Tide (December 6th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Offset mechanism to be discussed in MPF consultation; Anti-‘Internet Article 23’ gathering turns chaotic.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Gov’t & LegCo

Retirement protection consultation to include question on offset mechanism
– Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung said the question of whether to abandon the controversial MPF offset mechanism will be included in an upcoming six-month consultation on retirement protection
– Cheung however stressed that the inclusion did not mean that the mechanism would be scrapped immediately

Transport minister in dispute with incoming MTR chief over Express Rail Link responsibility
– Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung exchanged words with upcoming MTR chief Frederick Ma over whether the Government should bear the responsibility for the Express Rail Link delay and cost overrun
– Speaking at a radio programme, Ma said cost overrun was not exclusive to the MTR Corp and that the director of highways had been monitoring the project as chairman of many of the project’s committees while Cheung said it was unfair to compare the MTR Corp’s 800-strong project management team with the 40 officials and consultants from the Highways Department

Competition commissioner sets combating cartel activities as first priority
– Chairman of the Competition Commission Anna Wu Hung-yuk said combatingcartel activities (ch) would be her first priority once the Competition Ordinance comes into force later this month
– Wu said she would seek expansion of the ordinance to include merger and acquisition activities with lowering prices as her long term goal

Environment chief visits Paris
– Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing started his duty visit to Paris and attended the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group meetings and COP21-related meetings and events
– Wong will attend the COP21 High-level Segment and host a Hong Kong session at the China Pavilion at COP21 on Monday and Tuesday

Lead level 60% above WHO standard found in public hospital
– Excessive lead levels 60% above the WHO standard were found in drinking water in a public hospital for the first time
– The sample was taken from a water boiler in a day care centre for children and adolescent psychiatric patients in Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital in Tai Po

Politics (General)

Anti-‘Internet Article 23’ press conference turns into anti-‘Long Hair’ chaos
– A gathering and press conference against the Copyright (Amendment) Bill turned into chaos as radical lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung (‘Long Hair’) became the target of even more radical people
– The press conference was called by Keyboard Frontline and joined by various post-Umbrella Group
– Leung was the only lawmaker present at the event, but as Alvin Cheng, an activist who made his name during the Umbrella Movement, asked why no lawmakers but Wong Yuk-man was mounting a filibuster, he grabbed Cheng’s microphone and this angered many at the site
– More than 40 people blocked Leung’s way to leave the venue for about an hour until Leung stated that he would follow Wong Yuk-man in a bid to halt the legislation
– The groups will liaise with all lawmakers and organise a protest outside the LegCo Complex on Wednesday when legislators discuss the issue

Basic Law Committee chairman visits Portuguese autonomous regions with Hong Kong in mind
– Secretary General of NPCSC and Chairman of the Basic Law Committee Li Fei led a Chinese delegation to visit the two islands of Madeira and Azores in the Atlantic to study the model of democracy in the two Portuguese autonomous regions
– The regions both elect legislatures by universal suffrage but do not have their own courts that Lisbon holds the ultimate authority