High Tide (November 1st 2015) – Daily political round up

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Jasper Tsang receives GBM from CE; SED vows to review TSA system; Lead-in-water task force submits final report.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Government & LegCo

Jasper Tsang receives the city’s highest honour From CY Leung as 298 people awarded in Honour List 2015
– A total of 273 were presented with honours and awards at the Government House while 25 recipients in the Honour List 2015 were absent
– LegCo President Jasper Tsang, ExCo member and former president of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions Cheng Yiu-tong, representative of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce in the Labour Advisory Board Ho Sai-chu, as well as entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr Li Dak-sum were awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal
– 13 recipients were awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star, including former Police commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung and Council Chairman of the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong Peter Lam Kin-ngok
– The LegCo president, while saying that he was happy to have received the city’s highest honour from CY Leung, refused to say whether he will back Leung for a second term as CE

Education minister vows to review TSA, admits shortcomings in the system
– Secretary for Education Eddie Ng admitted that there were deficiencies and confusion in the TSA tests for primary three pupils and that the administration had set up a committee to review the system
– The Professional Teachers’ Union however said the review would not solve the fundamental problem: excessive homework and exercises
– According to a report (ch) by Ming Pao, nine out of 34 government-led primary schools had bought extra materials for TSA tests, three had make-up classes while one even formulated a ‘champion plan’ for the controversial tests

Lead in pipe joints the cause of drinking water scandal, task force’s final report confirms
– The Task Force on Investigation of Excessive Lead Content in Drinking Water led by the Water Supplies Department submitted its final report to Secretary for Development Paul Chan, confirming that the use of leaded solder materials in the solder joints was the cause of excess lead in drinking water in Kai Ching Estate and Kwai Luen Estate Phase 2
– The conclusion also applied to nine other lead-tainted housing estates, among which Ching Ho Estate in Sheung Shui recorded a 50-61% leaded content found in the solder joints, exceeding the British standards by 871 times
– The independent major inquiry into the scandal will commence today

Government to release manpower review for healthcare system in first half of next year
– Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said results of a comprehensivemanpower review for the city’s healthcare system will be out in the first half of 2016
– The latest count suggested that public hospitals would need at least 250 more doctors and 1,000 nurses

‘No provision’ stating that Basic Law will expire after 2047, Secretary for Justice says
– Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen, while giving a speech at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute of Columbia University in New York, said the city’s Basic Law may remain in effect after 2047
– Yuen said while there was only one provision in the Basic Law that mentions a guarantee of 50 years of unchanged way of life after the handover, there was no provision stating that the Basic Law will expire after 50 years

Politics (General)

HKU alumni and journalists plan fightback in court over ban on further tap leakage
– The University of Hong Kong Alumni Concern Group said it was considering toraise a defence in court against the ban on further leakage of audio clips of a HKU Council meeting together with the Hong Kong Journalists Association
– HKU, meanwhile, had reportedly demanded Commercial Radio to reveal the source of the two aired audio clips