High Tide (August 22nd 2015) – Daily political round up

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Avenue of Stars to be closed for 3 yrs; Convicts in Kevin Lau case jailed 19 years each; 10 gov.hk emails found in AshleyMadison leak. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Politics (Gov’t & LegCo)

Controversial closure of Avenue of Stars for three years endorsed.
– The Town Planning Board conditionally endorsed a proposal to expand Tsim Sha Tsui harbourfront despite overwhelming public opposition
– The proposal, led by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and a non-profit venture under New World Development, will see the Avenue of Stars closed for three years
– The New World Development managed to secure the authority to manage the tourist attraction for 20 more years until 2035
– Businesses and property owners argued the plan would put off customers and block the harbour view
– It was also questioned as to why tender process and public consultation were skipped

Report submitted on unattended patient collapsed near North Lantau Hospital.
– The North Lantau Hospital submitted a chronology report on a collapsed 62-year-old person who passed away after delay in treatment
– It was reported that there was “miscommunication” between the doctor, who requested on-site assistance by the Accident and Emergency Department (AED), and the A&E nurse on duty and that the “message [to request on-site assistance] had not been effectively conveyed”
– Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said the Hospital Authority (HA) “has accepted the findings and recommendations of the report” and stressed that the HA staff “are working earnestly and passionately and learning from experience”

Government vows to improve taxi services.
– The Transport and Housing Bureau issued a statement outlining possible measures to improve taxi services
– The statement, meanwhile, did not mention any measure as to how the government could help legitimate the operation of Uber in the city, such as relaxing the current hire car permit regulation
– “Hong Kong is densely populated. Space is limited and traffic busy. We therefore have to continue to make good use of and further develop our public transport services to reduce the reliance on private cars so as to avoid our roads becoming too congested,” a government spokesperson said

Ten government email addresses found in leaked social networking website data.
– It was reported that ten gov.hk email addresses were found in the data of infidelity website AshleyMadison.com leaked by hackers
– Among the leaked email addresses was a cy@gov.hk, but no such email exists in the government directory
– Apart from civil servants, 30 emails that end with edu.hk were also found

CY Leung meets with US senator.
– CY Leung met the visiting US senator and member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Cory Gardner, selling – again – Hong Kong’s position as a “supper-connector” to the mainland market
– Leung meanwhile met with four members from the Liberal Party (ch), discussing possible measures to improve an increasingly difficult business environment

Political (General)

“Cold-blooded” duo sentenced to 19 years in prison for stabbing formerMing Pao EiC.
– Two men convicted of attacking former Ming Pao Chief Editor Kevin Lau were each sentenced to 19 years in prison
– High Court Justice Esther Toh condemned the duo’s “cold-blooded” actions and there was no justification for a softer punishment

Primary school reports finding of excessive lead in water.
– The SKH St Thomas’ Primary School in Sham Shui Po reported to the Education Bureau that a water sample recording lead level 3 times over the WHO standard was found
– The school will hold a meeting with parents in early September

HKU Council to hold ‘off-campus’ meeting in fear of overheated student reaction.
– The controversial appointment (ch) of pro-vice-chancellor was added to the agenda list of the upcoming University of Hong Kong Council meeting
– The appointment of the university’s provost, however, was not on the list
– The Council also decided to hold the meeting outside its main campus in fear of a repeat of students storming the meeting