High Tide (January 11th 2016) – Daily political round up

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Lantau development plan revealed; 6000 join protest over missing booksellers; HKU students plan class boycott.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Government & LegCo

Ambitious plan seeks to turn Lantau into Hong Kong’s new commercial hub
– The Lantau Development Advisory Committee submitted its first report to CY Leung, in which it proposed to turn Lantau from an outlying island into the city’s new commercial hub
– Measures included expansion of housing and economic developments near Tung Chung in North Lantau; areas for leisure and tourism in Sunny Bay and South Lantau; and a new core business district in East Lantau with the reclamation of one or more artificial islands
– A new town in East Lantau will accommodate up to 700,000 people and will become a major source of land supply beyond 2030

John Tsang on retirement protection scheme: Sustainability is the key
– Financial Secretary John Tsang wrote in a blog post yesterday in support of Chief Secretary Carrie Lam over the government’s stance’s on the retirement protection scheme
– Tsang argued that financial sustainability is the key and called on the public to realise the “massive difference” in financial burden between the two proposals

Government lowers estimates on usage of high-speed rail link and travelling time saved
– The government reduced its estimates on mid- and long-term usage of the high-speed rail link (ch) and the travelling time it will save in a recent report to the LegCo
– The estimated mid- and long-term usage dropped by 0.4% and 6% respectively, while the total annual saved time was cut from 42 million hours to 39 million hours
– Meanwhile, the discounted economic return was raised from HKD87bn (based on 2009 price) to HKD90bn (based on 2015 price)

General Politics

6000 people rally for an answer over missing booksellers
– The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China claimed more than 6,000 people joined yesterday’s march in protest over five missing booksellers
– The march was joined by many pan-dem lawmakers as well as former Chief Secretary Anson Chan, former CPPCC delegate Lew Mon-hung (‘Dream Bear’), and Occupy co-founder Benny Tai
– Meanwhile, LegCo president Jasper Tsang and ExCo convenor Lam Woon-kwong also urged police to clarify the events and called on the government to seek response from Beijing
– Ahead of the protest, police revealed details of a 2013 case in which a Hong Kong businessman and his wife were kidnapped by three Hong Kong men and were then brought across border to be detained by mainland authorities

HKU students consider class boycott
– Former head of University of Hong Kong’s student union Yvonne Leung called for a students meeting to organise class boycott (ch) in protest of the appointment of Arthur Li as the university’s council chairman
– Meanwhile, in a reply to HKU’s Academic Staff Association chairman Cheung Sing-wai, Li refused to retract his remarks which claimed that some HKU academic staff were not attending to their proper duties, saying that “we can agree to disagree”

DAB by-election candidate criticised for possible electoral malpractice
– DAB’s candidate in the LegCo New Territories East by-election Holden Chow was accused of possible electoral malpractice (ch) as he and his colleague Elizabeth Quat attended an event in Sha Tin in which about a thousand people were treated with free Poon Choi (a traditional Chinese dish)
– While the event itself was not hosted by DAB, Chow and Quat shook hands with the guests one by one, raising suspicions that the event was held in support of Chow’s election campaign
– Chow will run against Civic Party’s Alvin Yeung, Third Side’s Nelson Wong and independent Christine Fong