High Tide (January 6th 2016) – Daily political round up

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Finance lawmaker: missing men arrested for whoring; Young candidate becomes Yuen Long DC chairman with rural backing.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Government & LegCo

Finance lawmaker under fire for suggesting missing booksellers were arrested after entering mainland illegally for whoring
– Finance sector lawmaker Ng Leung-sing said at a Panel on Security meeting that he received a message from “an old friend from the business sector”, which read the five missing booksellers were arrested after entering mainland illegally for whoring
– Ng then questioned if the LegCo should investigate a case based on rumours, but was condemned by pan-dems
– Meanwhile, at least one bookstore, namely Page One, had reportedly withdrawn sensitive books from sale since last November, about the time the first of the five men disappeared

Housing Authority announces budget forecasts, expects greater financial burden in coming four years
– The Housing Authority‘s Finance Committee announced its proposed budgets and forecasts for the period 2015-16 to 2019-20
– The FC chairman Raymond So said the HA “will come under increasing fiscal pressure in the longer term and the Government’s funding support to the HA will become necessary”, expecting a drop in the HA’s cash and investment balance from HKD67bn in Apr 2015 to about HKD16bn by March 2020
– The HA plans to put aside at least HKD30m for extra spending relating to thelead-in-water scare

Government urged better use of vacant school premises
– The Lands Department promised to set up a timetable for handling vacant school premises at the LegCo Public Account Committee hearing
– The Audit Commission last year reported that there were 234 vacant school premises, among which 73 belonged to the Lands Department and 29 to the Education Bureau
– The Education Bureau also vowed to finish conducting a review in six months, but stressed that it needed the premises for emergency usage

CY Leung denies ‘rumours’ over university donations
– CY Leung dismissed media reports that he had requested businesses not to donate to local universities, listing out the works he had done for university donations
– Now TV and Ming Pao reported last week that Leung, on several closed-door occasions, asked potential donors to support scientific research instead
– When asked about the appointment of Arthur Li as HKU Council chairman, the CE said it was “an appointment based on talent”

General Politics

Rural district councillors bring down incumbent Yuen Long chairman from DAB
– Wilson Shum, a young solicitor backed by Heung Yee Kuk, defeated Leung Chi-cheung of DAB in the run for the Yuen Long District Council chairman post by 22 votes to 18
– Leung was the incumbent chairman for the past two terms
– The Kuk earlier slammed the DAB for not speaking up for the interests of New Territories villagers and hinted it may field candidates in elections of different levels instead of backing DAB
– Meanwhile, the pro-est grabbed all 20 key posts in the Eastern District Council