High Tide (June 23rd 2015) – Daily Political Round-up

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Ronny Tong confirms party and LegCo resignation; Lawmakers to debate on “One country, two systems”; Education Bureau urged to drop TSA. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Government launches consultation on apology legislation.
– The Government has launched a six-month public consultation on the enactment of apology legislation
– The legislation aims to clarify the legal consequences of making an apology so as to promote and encourage such act to “facilitate the amicable settlement of disputes”
– Civic Party’s Kwok Ka-ki said he supported the legislation and claimed that it could help promote settlements

Lawmakers to debate motion on the continuance of “one country, two systems”.
– Civic Party’s Dennis Kwok has moved a motion on the implementation and continuance of “one country, two systems” on tomorrow’s LegCo meeting
– The motion “requests the SAR Government to earnestly invite the Central Government to implement and continue the state policy of ‘one country, two systems’ in Hong Kong in accordance with the original intent of ‘one country, two systems'”
– Education lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen, DAB’s Ip Kwok-him, Labour Party’s Lee Cheuk-yan, Democratic Party’s Gary Fan, Commercial (second) lawmaker Martin Liao and independent Wong Yuk-man will move separate amendments to the motion

Ming Pao: EPD plans to regulate recycling of used cooking oil through licensing.
– It was reported (ch) that the Environmental Protection Department has outlined a regulation on used cooking oil requiring recycling firms and exporters to obtain a licence for the business
– Public consultation on the proposal is expected to be launched later this week
– Spokesperson of the EPD said the authorities were also conducting a study on regulating the imports of cooking oil
– Meanwhile, Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man responded to an incident in a Chinese medicine clinic and said the Department of Health was arranging a consultancy study to provide advice on further legislation on the regulation of medical equipment

Political (General)

Ronny Tong confirms resignation as Civic Party and LegCo member.
– Ronny Tong has confirmed his departure from the Civic Party admitting divergence from the party line and revealing his intention to quit every since 2010 when he opposed to the party’s participation in triggering a by-election to create a de facto referendum on political reform
– The founding member said he has also submitted his resignation letter as a lawmaker to the LegCo Secretariat with effect on Oct 1
– Tong named the party’s New Territories East branch chairman Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu to run for the by-election
– Civic Party stated that it “respects his decision and accepts his decision with regret”
– If the pro-democracy camp failed to win the seat, they would lose the majority in geographical constituencies and hence the veto power inside the LegCo

Teachers’ union urges the authorities to drop TSA in primary schools.
– The Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union released (ch) a survey report urging the Government to abandon the Territory-wide System Assessments (TSA) in primary schools
– The PTU claimed that about 80% of primary school teachers think that the TSA has put enormous pressure on teachers and students
– The Education Bureau replied (ch) that there are many stakeholders who believe that the system should be kept

HKU likely to endorse probe report on Benny Tai and Johannes Chan.
– It was reported that the University of Hong Kong’s Council member were leaning towards accepting the investigation report on its associate law professor Benny Tai’s use of HKD1.45m donations and former law dean Johannes Chan
– The report of the probe, which was conducted earlier by the university’s audit committee, said Tai “deviated” from the stated purpose of the donation while Chan “fell below expected standards” to provide a timely notice to the HKU management over the identity of one of the donors
– A decision will be announced as early as tonight by a simple majority voting of the Council members
– Chan’s debated appointment to the post of pro-vice-chancellor will also be discussed on June 30 at the earliest