High Tide (December 8th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Filibustering motions on copyright bill slashed; Contractor of key bypass found dumping waste into Victoria Harbour.

Photo: Chris Lusher


 

Gov’t & LegCo

Motions to halt copyright bill slashed
– LegCo President Jasper Tsang slashed the number of motions over the copyright amendment bill from a total of 915 to 52, of which 903 were raised by Wong Yuk-man and were cut to 42, ahead of bill’s second reading in LegCo on Wednesday
– The rest were moved by pro-Beijing’s Chan Kam-lam, which included the ‘contract override’ and ‘fair use’ terms proposed by the pro-democracy camp since Chan, as chairman of the Bills Committee on the amendment bill, had to move the motions on behalf of the committee which endorsed them when pan-dems had a temporary majority
– IT lawmaker Charles Mok and Liberal Party’s James Tien stated they would vote down the bill if the motions backed by pan-dems were rejected

Contractor of Central-Wan Chai Bypass allegedly dumping waste into harbour
– China State Construction, contractor of the Central-Wan Chai Bypass (ch), was allegedly dumping construction waste into the Victoria Harbour for more than half a year but the Environmental Protection Department failed to spot it after 87 inspections
Ming Pao reported wastewater was spotted draining into the harbour from the construction site near the Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter while bentonite, a common construction material, was found in the water sample
– China State Construction was also involved in another illegal dumping of construction wastewater in the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge site the lead-in-water scandal
– A representation from the China State Construction was recently slammed for “playing with words” when telling the inquiry into the lead-in-water scandal that the contract signed with the government did not state there should be no lead in drinking water (ch)

John Tsang: US interest rate rise is the city’s prime economic concern
– Financial Secretary John Tsang said a possible interest rate increase by the US Federal Reserve next week was becoming the city’s top economic concern
– Speaking to a LegCo panel, Tsang also warned of fluctuation in the property market but refused to state whether the government would revise current restrictions to support the market
– Tsang will depart for Beijing later today for meetings with the relevant Central Government officials in charge of financial and monetary policies with the accompany of Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury KC Chan and Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Norman Chan

Apple Daily: Power companies overcharge nearly HKD5.7bn
– CLP and Hong Kong Electric collected a total of HKD5.7bn by overcharging for electricity and fuel costs (ch), according to a report by Apple Daily
– Excluding a rebate of more than HKD1.2bn by CLP in last August, the two power companies still had more than HKD4.43bn in the Fuel Clause Recovery Accounts and Tariff Stabilization Funds, with CLP holding HKD2.3bn and Hong Kong Electric holding HKD2.1bn – an amount enough to exempt 420,000 and 320,000 households electricity bill for a year respectively

Police receive DoJ’s response on baton assault case
– Police confirmed it had received legal advice from the Department of Justice concerning a case of which retired officer Franklin Chu assaulted passengers and Occupy protesters with his baton (ch) more than a year ago
– The Independent Police Complaints Council earlier stated it would take further actions, including reporting to the CE and disclosing the disputes over the case, if there was no progress in this month

Politics (General)

Former TVB manager’s court appeal rejected while ATV boss steps down over pay row
– The appeal court rejected former TVB general manager Stephen Chan Chi-wan‘s bid to suspend execution of an earlier conviction over a bribery case
– Chan’s sentencing was expected to be announced on next Friday
– Meanwhile, ATV boss Ip Ka-po announced he had resigned five days after he was fined HKD150,000 by the court for failing to pay his staff on time