High Tide (June 16th 2015) – Daily Political Round-up

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10 arrested in explosives plot; Harsh confidentiality agreement on Lamma ferry report ridiculed. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

10 arrested in explosives plot during LegCo reform package debate.
– 10 activists were arrested for allegedly plotting to set off explosives during the LegCo debate on political reform package
– Police seized explosives, guns, and localism items in a former ATV studio in Ho Chung in Sai Kung and in an abandoned house near the Ma On Shan Country Park
– The suspects were claimed to be a member of the National Independence Party, a localist group which on June 1 warned of casualties if the package was passed

LegCo announces tightened security measures.
– The LegCo Commission, after a closed meeting, announced a list of security measures between Wednesday and Friday during the debate on political reform package
– 5 staff members at most were granted entry into the LegCo Complex for each lawmaker among other restrictions
– LegCo President Jasper Tsang stressed that only in emergency situations that the LegCo’s security guards cannot handle will he order consent for the Police to enter the building
– It was reported (ch) that the Police has set up more than 700 metal barriers around the LegCo Complex and requisitioned a “secret passage” leading to the LegCo as a temporary base but the latter was dismissed by Tsang

ICAC launches probe on ‘Long Hair’ allegation over political reform bribery.
– The ICAC said it has launched an investigation over lawmaker ‘Long Hair’ Leung Kwok-hung’s claim that he was offered to be paid to support the reform package
– The agency made the move just one day after CY Leung publicly questioned the credibility of Leung’s story

Politics (general)

James Tien’s poll shows majority support for political reform.
– Liberal Party’s James Tien revealed the results of the biggest polls on political reform, showing that 48% supported the reform while 38% opposed to it while 51% said lawmakers should approve the proposal compared to 37% who argued the opposite
– Tien earlier commissioned a group of researchers from the University of Hong Kong to survey more than 5,000 people at a reported cost of HKD300,000
– Meanwhile, more than 40 politicians and business leaders, including former Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Frederick Ma, former ExCo convenor Ronald Arculli and former Monetary Authority head Joseph Yam, published a joint statement calling on lawmakers to pass the package
– On the other hand, more than 1,900 signed an online petition initiated by 28 professionals and academics against the proposal

Lawmaker blasts confidentiality agreement on Lamma ferry tragedy report.
– Democratic Party’s James To blasted a requirement by the authorities asking lawmakers and families of victims in the Lamma ferry tragedy to sign a harsh confidentiality agreement if they want to get access to the official report
– To described the requirement, which prohibited the groups from even taking notes, as “too spicy to swallow”
– To urged the authorities to review the confidentiality terms or he would deploy special power of the LegCo to publicise the content of the report
– The report is expected to be made available to lawmakers by July 14 for a closed-door meeting