High Tide (January 15th 2016) – Daily political round up

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Lawmakers chase after CE over missing booksellers; Gov’t may quit UN torture convention; HKFA fined for anthem booing.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Government & LegCo

Lawmakers bombard CY Leung on missing booksellers during policy address Q&A session
– Liberal Party lawmaker James Tien joined the pan-dems in criticising CY Leung for his seeming inaction concerning the disappearance of five booksellers during yesterday’s policy address LegCo Q&A session
– Tien called on Leung to go to Beijing or call the Central Government to ask for an explanation
– “[Liaison Office director] Zhang Xiaoming said you are transcendent, so you are the only suitable person to raise this issue…Hong Kong people will appreciate it even if you get no response,” Tien said
– Leung reiterated that he was very concerned about the case and had been liaising with mainland authorities of different levels
– Both Albert Chan and Raymond Chan of People Power were ousted as they attempted to move close to Leung to protest
– ‘Long Hair’ Leung Kwok-hung threw a box of shoe polish to Leung when the latter was leaving, but the box was blocked by a LegCo security guard
– Meanwhile, the LegCo Secretariat reported yesterday evening that it had received a bomb threat, but no suspicious object was found after a police search of the building

CY Leung may pull Hong Kong out of UN torture convention
– CY Leung said on Wednesday that the government may quit the United Nation’s Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) to “fix the loophole” of allowing ‘fake’ refugees to “abuse Hong Kong’s relatively open immigration policy”
– Critics and NGOs blasted the statement, arguing that Hong Kong would join the ranks of Zimbabwe, Central African Republic and North Korea if it is to quit the convention, and challenged whether it can even quit the convention given that China is the actual signatory

Government to implement New Agricultural Policy
– The government announced that it will step up implementation of the New Agriculture Policy
– Key measures of the policy included setting up an Agricultural Park of 75 to 80 hectare and a HKD500 million Sustainable Agricultural Development Fund as mentioned in the 2016 policy address

John Tsang to attend AIIB opening ceremony and inauguration meeting in Beijing
– Financial Secretary John Tsang will depart for Beijing today to attend theopening ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the inaugural meeting of the Board of Governors tomorrow as a member of the Chinese delegation

General Politics

Donald Tsang trial scheduled for early 2017
– The trial of former CE Donald Tsang over two counts of misconduct in public office was scheduled for January 3, 2017
– The pre-trial review will take place on September 9 this year

HKFA fined again over booing of national anthem during home match against China
– FIFA imposed a fine of CHF10,000 (~HKD77,400) on the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) as a result of Hong Kong fans booing the Chinese National Anthem during the World Cup Qualifier home match against China last November
– “FIFA has warned the HKFA as to its future conduct according to article 13 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code that any further infringements will lead to harsher sanctions,” a HKFA statement read
– Last year, HKFA was already fined HKD40,000 for fans booing the anthem and throwing a carton of lemon tea at an opposition player during a match against Qatar