High Tide (January 20th 2016) – Daily political round up

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Govt considers HKD10.2bn Harbourfront Authority proposal; Rural leaders to form new political party.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Gov’t & LegCo

Government considers proposal to set up HKD10.2bn Harbourfront Authority
– The Harbourfront Commission submitted its final report on the proposed establishment of a Harbourfront Authority (HFA)
– It was proposed that the HFA should have its own governing board of comprising not more than 20 members (to be appointed by the CE)
– The Commission suggested the government to allocate to the HFA newly reclaimed land and/or sites primarily zoned as open space that are available for development, with eight sites proposed for allocation in the first phase
– The Government was also recommended to set aside HKD10.2bn for the HFA to develop the proposed sites

Yuen Long South blueprint to accommodate 85,000 people drafted
– The Government launched the third stage of a three-month public engagement for the drafted Yuen Long South development plan
– Under the latest blueprint, the proposed number of housing units was raised from 26,100 to 27,700 to accommodate a population of 85,000
– The Development Bureau claimed that 183 hectares of land in Yuen Long South can be developed, of which about 60% are brownfield land
– It was estimated that more than HKD10bn will be spent on land resumption

Transport chief urges legislators to approve additional funding for high-speed rail link before settling co-location arrangements
– Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung admitted that issues regarding the high-speed rail link (ch) co-location arrangement would not be settled in the near future, but called on lawmakers to approve a HKD19.6bn additional funding for the project as the reserve will be used up by next month
– Chairman of the LegCo’s panel on transport Michael Tien said it would be hard for lawmakers to approve the funding without a concrete solution to the co-location arrangement

General Politics

Rural leaders eye forming new political party
– Sheung Shui District Rural Committee chairman Bowie Hau Chi-keung moved a motion to form a new political party named “New Territories Progressive Alliance Party (ch)” for LegCo elections during yesterday’s Heung Yee Kuk meeting
– Hau later withdrew the motion as some representatives said it would be inappropriate to discuss the motion in the meeting
– The proposal received support from many rural heavyweights including Shap Pat Heung Rural Committee chairman Leung Fuk-yuen and Heung Yee Kuk chairman Kenneth Lau Ip-keung, son of Lau Wong-fat
– The Lau family was recently accused of manipulating the Small House Policyand profited as much as HKD120m from it

60% against OBOR, HKU survey finds
– The University of Hong Kong Public Opinion Programme released the results of a follow-up survey on CY Leung’s recent policy address
– The net satisfaction rate slumped by 17% to record low, negative 37% compared to preliminary survey conducted right after CY Leung delivered the policy address
– 60% of the participants were against the ‘Belt and Road’ initiatives while 21% supported them

Former Chief Secretary’s think tank urges government to reform LegCo functional constituencies
– HongKong2020, a think tank founded by former Chief Secretary Anson Chan, joined with three professionals’ groups to urge the government to extend the voting base of insurance, finance and financial services functional constituencies (ch) to include individual votes
– The insurance sector lawmaker is currently voted by some 100 company votes, while that of finance and financial services sectors are voted by about 100 votes and 500 votes respectively