High Tide (January 5th 2016) – Daily political round up

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CE: mainland agencies enforcing law in HK “unacceptable”; Kuk seeks right to build small houses in green belt lands.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Government & LegCo

CY Leung on missing bookseller: mainland agencies enforcing law in HK “unacceptable”
– In a press conference regarding the disappearance of five associates of Causeway Bay Books, CY Leung said “only legal enforcement agencies in Hong Kong have the legal authority to enforce laws in Hong Kong” and that it would be “unacceptable” for mainland agencies to enforce law here
– The wife of Lee Bo, the latest bookseller who went missing, said her husband sent a handwritten letter through fax to his bookstore colleague, in which Lee said he “returned to mainland my own way and am working with the concerned parties in an investigation which may take a while”
– Labour Party Lee Cheuk-yan will put forward an urgent question regarding the incidents in the LegCo on Wednesday (as the debate on the copyright bill resumes)

Airport Authority reaches agreement with Shenzhen counterpart to push airspace reform
– The Hong Kong Airport Authority signed an agreement with its Shenzhen counterpart to strengthen cooperation between the two sides and to push airspace reform, a move that would pave the way for better operation of the Third Runway System (ch)
– It was believed that a “sky wall” imposed on Hong Kong airplanes when entering mainland airspace would be refined or even abolished

Government announces one-off relief for 72,000 families
– The government announced another one-off Community Care Fund relief measure and around 72,000 families will be eligible to benefit from the grants
– A new tier was created for families with five members or more, who can receive a subsidy of HKD14,000 if the household income does not exceed HKD29,050 and rent not exceeding HKD14,525

General Politics

Pan-dems and pro-est fight to head Sham Shui Po District Council
– The pan-dems and pro-est will have a close call over which side will claim the chairman post of the Sham Shui Po District Council (ch) as the pro-est only outnumber their opponents by one seat
– Liberal Party’s councillor Dominic Lee will cast the key vote as he had yet to disclosed which side he would opt for
– The pro-est are expected to grab most if not all key posts in all 18 DCs, with the chairman and vice-chairman posts of the Yau Tsim Mong, Tai Po and Islands District Councils already went to pro-est councillors

Rural governing body seeks right to build small houses in green belt lands
Ming Pao reported (ch) that the rural governing body Heung Yee Kok would seek relaxation from the Town Planning Board to allow small houses to be built in green belt lands
– There are about 132 hectares of privately-owned green belt lands, about the size of seven Victoria Parks, within the realm of the Kuk and it was expected that 15,000 small houses could be built
– Vice-chairman of the TPB Stanley Wong said any such applications must be handled individually, and there was no plan to change the policy