High Tide (December 17th 2015) – Daily political round up

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LegCo yet to start debate on copyright bill; Complaints against two pan-dems over donations unsubstantiated.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Gov’t & LegCo

Man carrying explosive ingredients to LegCo protest found and detained as debate on copyright bill further delayed
– Hundreds gathered outside the LegCo Complex, protesting against a controversial copyright amendment bill – they might have come too early as pan-dem lawmakers pushed the debate further till today morning by calling for quorum for more than 20 times
– Democrats Emily Lau and Helena Wong, who did not participate in the filibuster, were surrounded and booed by protesters on their way back into the LegCo building after attempting to address them
– People Power’s Raymond Chan said both Albert Chan and Cyd Ho told him they would move for an adjournment once the debate starts later today
– A man, aged 20, was detained by police after being found carrying a kilogram of potassium chlorate, an explosive ingredient, at the Admiralty Centre when heading to the protest

LegCo committee rules no further action needed over two pan-dems receiving donations from Jimmy Lai
– The Committee on Members’ Interests ruled that two cases against Lee Cheuk-yan of Labour Party and ‘Long Hair’ Leung Kwok-hung of LSD over receiving undeclared donations of HKD1.5m and HKD500,000 respectively from media tycoon Jimmy Lai were unsubstantiated
– The vote was originally a tie between three pro-est and three pan-dem lawmakers before committee chairman Ip Kwok-him of DAB was obliged to vote against the complaint
– Leung and Lee were said to have accepted the sum on behalf of their parties and hence did not break any rules of procedure

Lawmakers call for exceptions under new anti-congestion plan
– Several lawmakers slammed the government’s proposal to raise fines for illegal parking and to introduce congestion charge in Central during a Panel on Transport meeting
– Lee Cheuk-yan of Labour Party and Transport lawmaker Frankie Yick said raising the fines would not help as long as there were inadequate number of parking spaces
– Deputy transport panel chairman Tang Ka-piu proposed granting exemptions to commercial and business vehicles that must enter the congestion charge zone
– The panel endorsed a non-binding motion against the new plan as long as shortage of parking space remains unresolved

Education Bureau launches scholarship for “Belt and Road” students
– The Education Bureau signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on education co-operation with the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture
– The bureau also announced the launch of the Hong Kong Scholarship for “Belt and Road” Students (Indonesia), which will offer 10 scholarships to Indonesian students who are enrolled in publicly funded degree programmes in Hong Kong each year starting from the 2016/17 academic year

Woman gets past all Government Complex securities to splash cooking sauce on rival in love
– A rare assault incident (ch) occurred at the Government Complex yesterday as a woman, pretending to be bringing a gift with flowers and chocolates, got past all security measures and splashed cooking sauce on a female senior executive officer, believed to be her rival in love, in the Home Affairs Bureau office building
– The woman, aged 51, later turned herself in and was held for assault and criminal damage

Politics (General)

Principals placated after meeting with education minister over TSA
– About 20 primary school principals said a meeting with Secretary for Education Eddie Ng over the controversial TSA exams (ch) was positive
– Ng reportedly agreed during the meeting to call on the committee on TSA to hold another meeting before Christmas

Filling in illegal basement costed HKD10m, former Chief Secretary says
– Former Chief Secretary and Chief Executive candidate Henry Tang said he had spent more than HKD10m to fill in an illegal basement (ch) under his residence in York Road, Kowloon Tong
– The revelation of the 2,400 sq ft ‘underground palace’ was said to be a game changer in Tang’s run for the CE in 2012
– Tang also hinted unfair treatment from the Buildings Department as he was not allowed to use light weight concrete to fill in the base before complaining to the department that CY Leung also used the material to fill in an unauthorised extension in his residence