High Tide (January 21st 2016) – Daily political round up

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Greg So: Copyright bill “frozen”; HKU class boycott begins; The OBOR bandwagon.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Gov’t & LegCo

Frozen: Gregory So speaks on Copyright Bill as pan-dem filibustering continues
– Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So said thecopyright bill was in a “frozen” situation and urged lawmakers “not [to] point finger at anybody but to work together”
– Radical pan-dems called for quorum for 25 times during yesterday’s council meeting, spending a total of four hours and 35 minutes

Secretary chief defends HK-mainland reciprocal notification mechanism
– Responding to a LegCo question raised by democrat Emily Lau regarding the five missing booksellers, Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said the reciprocal notification mechanism between Hong Kong and mainland law enforcement agencies “has been serving its purpose well”, noting that over 12,000 notifications involving more than 9,400 Hong Kong residents were made by the Mainland authorities between 2001 and the end of Dec 2015
– Lai, meanwhile, refused to comment on reports suggesting that Meng Jianzhu, Secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the CCP, once helped coordinating the Lee Bo case when visiting Guangdong

KC Chan rules out ending property ‘spicy measures’
– Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury KC Chan reaffirmed the government’s position on maintaining the property cooling measures
– Chan noted an imbalance between supply and demand in the housing market remained despite the US raising its interest rate
– Chan’s remarks came after the IMF released its Staff Report, in which its suggested the Hong Kong Government to consider relaxing the cooling measures if a sustained decline in property transactions was evident

CY Leung admits Hong Kong’s transportation policies too conservative
– When attending an event on inno-tech held by the Hongkong Federation of Youth Groups, CY Leung admitted that the city’s transportation policies were too conservative (ch) and said the government will consider raising the risk coefficient in this regards
– Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas Yang, who accompanied Leung, will call on the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Cyberspace Administration of China and the Standardization Administration of China, and pay a courtesy call on the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council as he departs for Beijing for a two-day visit today

Government scraps flights fuel surcharge
– Airlines will no longer be allowed to levy passenger fuel surcharges from Feb 1, 2016, for all outbound flights
– “In view of the fact that aviation fuel prices in the past months have greatly reduced and stabilised to a reasonable level and that the corresponding fuel surcharges have been greatly reduced, the CAD [Civil Aviation Department] considers that the levying of passenger fuel surcharges is not warranted,” the announcement read

General Politics

300 HKU students join class boycott
– The one-week class boycott launched by University of Hong Kong students began yesterday with about 300 students participating
– The class boycott committee also called on the university’s teaching staff to join the protest
– The HKU Council will discuss the committee’s demands when it meets on Tuesday

Doctors demand elected-appointed ratio in Medical Council Board to stay at 1:1 
– The Medical Association urged the government to review a plan to add four lay members to the Medical Council Board during a meeting with Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man
– President of the Medical Association Louis Shih said the ratio of appointed and elected members on the council should be maintained at 1:1
– Some doctors earlier threatened to go on strike if the government insists on putting the plan forward

CY not only one on OBOR bandwagon: One Belt, Many Companies
– As of late, there are a total of 25 organisations that have “One Belt” and “One Road” in their names, which some “foresighted” ones as early as 2009