High Tide (January 8th 2016) – Daily political round up

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Copyright bill debate adjourned; Travel industry urged to comply with new rules; Pro-est asserts dominance in DCs.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Government & LegCo

Meeting on copyright bill adjourned after a lack of quorum
– The LegCo meeting on copyright bill was once again adjourned after failing to meet the quorum
– Lawmakers however did vote down a motion moved by Labour Party’s Cyd Ho to adjourn the meeting before the meeting was suspended
– DAB’s former chairman Tam Yiu-chung slammed the pan-dems for intentionally leaving the chamber to cause an adjournment, saying that it is “a lawmaker’s responsibility to attend meetings”
– People Power’s Raymond Chan rebutted Tam by arguing that the adjournment would not have happened if 35 out of some 40 pro-est lawmakers were in the chamber
– LegCo president Jasper Tsang said he would seek meetings with both camps to address the issue

Gregory So urges travel industry to comply with new regulations amid strong resistance
– Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So noted a number of tour operators who launched a non-compliance campaign against a set of new regulations meant to protect visitors’ rights
– The operators also challenged the authority of the regulation enforcing agency, the Travel Industry Council (TIC)
– So said the TIC “is the only approved organisation under the Ordinance (Travel Agents Ordinance)” and that the government and the TIC “will not sit idly by in the face of such behaviour”
– New measures included a refund protection scheme within six months of the purchase in question

General Politics

Pro-est camp grabs all key posts in district councils
– All chairman and vice-chairman posts in the 18 district councils went to pro-est candidates or candidates backed by the pro-est camp
– Meanwhile, two newly elected pro-dem district councillors, namely Chui Chi-kin and Yip Wing, would file a complaint to the Ombudsman against the Housing Authority for accepting and considering applications by ousted councillors Christopher Chung and Elizabeth Quat to keep renting their DC offices as legislators (ch)

‘Dream Bear’ threatened to drop ‘political bomb’ against CY Leung if investigation against him did not stop, court hears
– Businessman Lew Mon-hung, nicknamed ‘Dream Bear’, allegedly threatened, in a letter to CY Leung, to drop a “political bomb” on Leung if the latter did not stop an ICAC investigation on him
– The letter said Leung once promised Lew that: “I wouldn’t use you and dump you”
– Lew was perceived as one of Leung’s biggest supporters when the latter ran in the 2012 CE election
– Lew pleaded not guilty to one count of perverting the course of public justice

Top officials attend Third Side fundraising dinner
– A new pro-democracy group Third Side (ch) reportedly gathered more than HKD2m at a fundraising dinner which was attended by CY Leung, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam, Secretary for the Civil Service Clement Cheung and Secretary for Development Paul Chan