High Tide (December 10th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Debate on copyright bill adjourned; SJ proposes Basic Law change for XRL arrangements.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Gov’t & LegCo

Vote on copyright bill pushed back as debate adjourned
– A LegCo debate on the controversial copyright amendment bill was adjourned owing to a lack of quorum during the Q&A session – before the debate even started
– The quorum was called by Civic Party’s Chan Ka-lok after Neo Democrats’ Gary Fan, LSD’s ‘Long Hair’ Leung Kwok-hung, and Raymond Chan of People Power also did so in bid to delay the debate
– Only seven pan-dems and 22 pro-est were at the chamber when the bell stopped ringing
– Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So reiterated that there was “no consensus” on the amendments moved by pan-dems, namely the inclusion of ‘user-generated content’, ‘fair use’ and ‘contract override’ into the bill, and urged lawmakers to pass the bill first
– The debate will resume next week

Rimsky Yuen proposes change in Basic Law to enable co-location arrangement for Express Rail Link
– Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen said during the LegCo Q&A session that the Government is looking into the option of annexing national laws into the Basic Law to allow mainland immigration officers to enforce mainland laws at the Express Rail Link West Kowloon Terminus
– Pan-dems trashed the proposal as a violation of the city’s mini-constitution, that national laws shall not be applied in the city except those listed in Annex III of the Basic Law which shall be confined to “those relating to defence and foreign affairs as well as other matters outside the limits of the autonomy of the HKSAR”
– Yuen said it was “arbitrary” to claim that the move would be detrimental to ‘one country, two systems’, stressing that any proposal would be in compliance with the Basic Law

200 flats to be set aside for single people in HOS scheme 2016
– The Housing Authority Subsidised Housing Committee approved the income and asset limits for White Form applicants and a new set of quota allocation for the Sale of Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) Flats 2016
– Under the scheme, a quota of 200 flats will be set aside for single people earning less than HKD24,500 a month with an asset limit of HKD850,000
– A total of 2,657 flats in Sha Tin and Yuen Long will be put on sale next February

Government to table bill on imposing smoking ban at bus interchanges near tunnels
– The Government will table an amendment order on the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance before the LegCo on December 16 to ban smoking at bus interchanges at eight tunnel portal areas
– Upon legislation, the Tobacco Control Office will undertake enforcement actions at the spots and issue fixed penalty notice under the Fixed Penalty (Smoking Offences) Ordinance to those who contravene the ban

Politics (General)

Occupy protester Ken Tsang denies charges of assaulting police
– Civic Party member and Occupy activist Ken Tsang pleaded not guilty to five charges of resisting and assaulting police officers during a pre-trial review at the Eastern Magistrates’ Court
– Tsang allegedly assaulted 11 officers by pouring water onto them during the Umbrella Movement
– The pre-trial hearing will resume on January 28 and the trial itself will commence on April 11