High Tide (October 12th 2015) – Daily political round up

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Students to hold referendum on CE as university chancellor; Tourism Board apologises for ‘chaotic’ Cyclothon.

Photo Credit: Chris Lusher


Government & LegCo

Government to table refinement proposal on voter registration at LegCo in December
– Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam said the Government hopes to table law amendments at the LegCo’s meeting in December to refine rules on voter registration (ch) but it could take longer to file the proposal if it involves changes to Ordinances
– Some proposed changes included requiring claimants of fraud registration to provide proper reasons and to attend concerned court hearings, and combining deadlines for new voter registrations and notifications of address change

Government deploys HKD570m to keep retiring doctors stay on.
– About 60 out of 100 public hospital doctors who will pass their retirement age of 60 in the next two years agreed to stay on under a Government’s HKD570m scheme
– A total of about 2,500 Hospital Authority staff, including doctors, nurses, medical staff and support workers are due to retire in the next two years
– The authority, which treats 90% of local patients but employs only 40% of doctors, is planning to increase the retirement age for new recruits to 65

Tourism Board apologises for ‘chaotic’ Cyclothon event
– The Tourism Board issued an apology for the ‘chaotic‘ situation in the city’s first two-day Cyclothon of which more than 3,000 cyclists joined
– Besides disgruntled road users complaining about congestion and unclear traffic diversion signs, experienced participants of the 35km Challenge Ride also ran into the 10km Community Ride who were about to start as they returned to the finish line

FS: TPP should not put up trade barriers for non-participating countries
– Financial Secretary John Tsang wrote (ch) yesterday on the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), saying that the initiative should not put up “trade barriers” for non-signatories such as China
– “As a free-trade agreement, if the TPP excludes certain countries or places, it goes against the agreement’s purpose. It will also make it difficult for this multilateral agreement to be effective,” Tsang wrote
– Meanwhile, Tsang also joked he could be nothing more than a “human recorder (ch)” that follows the policy line when it comes to housing prices as any comments from him “could be over-interpreted and created undesired shocks in the market”

Political (General)

Students to hold referendums in bid to amend laws that make CE university chancellor
– Students in eight local universities, coordinated by their respective students’ unions and the Hong Kong Federation of Students, will hold referendums in February to amend laws that make chief executive the chancellor of their universities and that allow the CE to appoint people in the institutions’ governing bodies
– City University was the only public university that would not join the referendum plan as its students’ union was disbanded in September

Over 100 ‘sleep’ outside Government House to address Hong Kong’s dire housing issues
– More than 100 people ‘slept’ outside the Government House on Sunday morning, urging the Government to speed up works on public housing (ch) provision
– A spokesperson of the Society for Community Organization said there are about 195,500 people living in subdivided flats in Hong Kong according to the statistics department while more than 280,000 were on the public housing scheme’s waiting list

Democratic Party targeted by radical activists in DC elections
– Radical localist group Civic Passion (ch) will field six candidates in the upcoming district council elections, among them five will take on candidates of the Democratic Party including Albert Ho and vice-chairman Lo Kin-hei
– Independent lawmaker Wong Yuk-man, a supporter of Civic Passion (or the other way round), said the move will gather new voters instead of dividing up the existing ones as Civic Passion and Democratic Party are of essentially different stances