High Tide (December 4th 2015) – Daily political round up

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LegCo passes motion on combating wildlife smuggling; Netizens and localists petition against ‘Internet Article 23’.

Photo: Chris Lusher


Gov’t & LegCo

Yet another infrastructure blunder as Government seeks HKD5bn for Sha Tin-Central Line project
– The Government said it would seek an extra funding of HKD5bn for the MTR Corp as the latter revealed that it more money to complete the construction works at three of the 10 Sha Tin-Central Line stations
– The completion dates of the Tai Wai to Hung Hom section and the Hung Hom to Admiralty section would be postponed from December 2018 and December 2020 to 2019 (at the earliest) and 2021 respectively
– Seven archaeological features were found near the To Kwa Wan station construction site earlier

Elizabeth Quat triumphs as all lawmakers back motion on ending wildlife smuggling
– A motion moved by Elizabeth Quat of DAB on combating wildlife smuggling, including a total ban on the city’s ivory trade, received an ‘all-yes’ vote by fellow legislators
– An amendment by Claudia Mo of Civic Party, which added bear gall bladders trade to the combat list, also got an overwhelming support
– Acting Secretary for the Environment Christine Loh earlier said the Government was “open-minded” to a domestic commercial ban on ivory trade on top of an international ban already in place

CY Leung: I’m not done with Cultural Bureau yet
– Speaking at a forum hosted by the Hong Kong United Foundation, Leung said he was not “willing to accept defeat” in establishing a new Cultural Bureau and criticised lawmakers who filibustered the plan in 2012
– Leung said he would look into forming a Cultural and Creativity Office, but it would still have to go through either the Establishment Subcommittee or the Finance Committee first

Chief Secretary welcome more young politicians, shows acknowledgement for Occupy Movement
– Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said at a Hong Kong Trade Development Council forum that it is “not a bad thing” more young people started to engage in politics after the Occupy Movement
– Lam added, rather contrary to the official line, that the Movement did not bring much disruption to the tourism and business sector, saying, “Basically, I think every one of us in the government does not feel that Hong Kong suffered tremendously from the Occupy movement.”

Rimsky Yuen admitted to hospital for intestinal issues
– Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen was admitted to hospital earlier this week, reportedly suffering from intestinal issues
– Yuen’s press secretary said Yuen did not undergo any operation and was expected to be discharged within this week
– Yuen was on schedule to attend next Wednesday’s LegCo meeting to answer lawmakers’ questions over the installation of a joint immigration checkpoint at the High-Speed Rail Link West Kowloon terminus

Politics (General)

Netizens and young political groups to rally against “Internet Article 23”
– Groups including Keyboard Frontline, Copyrights & Derivative Works Alliance, Neo Democrats, Youngspiration, Hong Kong Indigenous, Hong Kong Federation of Students, Civic Passion, Scholarism and Progressive Lawyers Group had signed a petition (ch) to urge the Government to revise the controversial Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2014, dubbed “Internet Article 23” before second reading resumed in LegCo next Tuesday
– The petition, with more than 55,000 signatures now, calls on the Government to state under the bill that the criminal offense of getting “access to a computer with intent to commit an offence or with a dishonest intent” will not be applicable to the derivative works and other works covered by the ordinance
– Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So said the bill “will not restrict any freedom of speech”, and that the government “is doing the related work in accordance with the international standard”
– Lawmaker Wong Yuk-man already filed over 900 amendments in bid to halt the legislation while Raymond Chan of People Power said he would join the filibuster

Anti-TSA group calls on students to muddle through exercises
– Clement Kam, who set up the Facebook page “Fight for cancelling the primary three TSA (ch)”, said the group will call on school kids to muddle through their TSA exercises so that they can be ‘prepared’ for the official one in May and June
– Secretary for Education Eddie Ng said the Coordinating Committee on Basic Competency Assessment and Assessment Literacy will look into the major sources of issues relating to drilling
– Ng reiterated that the TSA “is just an assessment” has “nothing to do with advancing to the Secondary One class…individual students’ assessment…ranking of schools and definitely not any factor relating to our evaluation of a school’s future”