The week ahead June 22

Ronny Tong quits Civic Party and announced last week by CY Leung, Finance Committee will delay discussing the ITB funding proposals.

 

June 22 Monday

 

Government turns down building a new container terminal

Panel on Economic Development today will discuss port and logistics development. Hong Kong was ranked as the world’s busiest port in the early 2000s but was overtaken by Singapore in 2005. It is now ranked after Shanghai, Singapore and Shenzhen. Kwai Tsing Container Terminals handle 79% of the overall container throughput in Hong Kong. The Government commissioned two consultants to study the propsoal of building a new Container Terminal 10 at Southwest Tsing Yi and reports published last year showed that though the propsoal is technically feasible, it is not viable financially or economically because the latest forecast of throughput growth of ports in Hong Kong is at a slower rate than what was previously forecast. “The development of CT10 requires a capital cost estimate of $60.9 billion (in 2011 prices), and it is expected that the economic and financial returns could not fully recover the investment costs within the 50-year evaluation period,” the Government writes to LegCo.

 

Ronny Tong to quit Civic Party

Civic Party founder Ronny Tong will announce his withdrawal from the party at a press conference at 3pm today. Mr Tong has been with Civic Party for almost 10 years. Previously belonged to the Article 45 Concern Group, Mr Tong and other three LegCo members in the Group, Audrey Eu, Alan Leong and Margaret Ng founded the Civic Party. Mr Tong recently founded a think tank called Path of Democracy.

ronny tong

 

June 23 Tuesday

 

Another staffing proposal to monitor railway projects

Establishment Subcommittee will discuss the creation of two permanent posts in the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department: one Chief Electrical and Mechanical Engineer and one Chief Electronics Engineer to enhance the safety inspection and monitoring of existing railway service and new railway projects.

Last meeting on June 10, pan-dems approved a motion to adjourn the staffing proposal to retain a Chief Engineer in the Railway Development Office of Highways Department to continue providing dedicated support to and monitoring the completion of the Hong Kong section of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link project by the MTR.

 

Consultation on Hung Shui Kiu New Development Area

Panel on Development will discuss the Stage 3 Community Engagement of the Hung Shui Kiu New Development Area (NDA) Planning and Engineering Study which began on June 17 and will end on September 16. Stage 2 was carried out in 2013 and the Government said that “Many supporting the NDA development considered that the NDA would help meet the long-term housing and development needs of Hong Kong. There were also comments highlighting the strategic location of the NDA and its potential to enhance the economic interaction between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.” There are currently 22 villages in the Hung Shui Kiu NDA and the Government plans to keep 17, meaning five villages will be demolished.

Regarding the more controversial plan of the North East New Territories NDAs, Secretary for Development Paul Chan said on a radio show last week that the Government will not submit funding proposal to LegCo this year but next and he announced land acquisition process will begin in 2017.

 

 

June 24 Wednesday

 

7 construction proposals to be discussed in PWSC

Members approved nine construction proposals in the Public Works Subcommittee last week and today they will likely approve another seven:

  • $103.2 million for the pre-construction consultancy services and site investigation works of the proposed Government Office Building in Cheung Sha Wan.
  • $256.6 million for the construction of a 12-classroom special school for children with mild intellectual disability.
  • $660 million for two 24-classroom primary schools at ex-Tanner Road Police Married Quarters site at Pak Fuk Road, North Point.
  • $88.9 million for the consultants’ fees and investigation of the Yuen Long effluent polishing plant.
  • $4,175.7 million for the construction of the East Kowloon Cultural Centre.
  • $1,774.4 million for Dualling of Hiram’s Highway between Clear Water Bay Road and Marina Cove and Improvement to Local Access to Ho Chung.
  • $68.9 million to  provide sewers to a number of unsewered areas along the Port Shelter.

 

Dennis Kwok urges Beijing to honour One Country, Two Systems

At the Council meeting, a number of bills will undergo First Reading and resume Second Reading.

 

Bills for 1st Reading:

Securities and Futures (Amendment) Bill 2015

To enable the Securities and Futures Commission to provide a narrow form of supervisory assistance to regulators outside Hong Kong upon request.

Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 2015

To enhance the tax appeal mechanism and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Board of Review (Inland Revenue Ordinance).

 

Bills to resume 2nd Reading:

Kowloon Tong Church of the Chinese Christian and Missionary Alliance Incorporation (Amendment) Bill 2014

To allow the corporation to borrow or raise money with or without security.

 

Members’ motions:

Dennis Kwok (FC- Legal, Civic Party) will move a motion to “request 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’. “

 

 

June 26 Friday

 

Finance Committee to delay handling ITB funding proposals

Chief Executive CY Leung announced last Friday that 10 measures related to people’s livelihood, including measures stated in the Buget, constructions of a rehab centre and a residential care home, pay rise for civil servants, an injection of HKD1.5b into the SME funds and a HKD1b recycling fund will be put ahead of the Innovation & Technology Bureau proposal in the Finance Committee agenda.
Leung said the Government is making “the first move to work together with LegCo to seize the opportunities for developing the economy and addressing livelihood issues” rejected accusation that the ITB proposal is jumping the queue as the proposal “as we all know has been around for three years”. Lawmakers, including pan-dems, welcomed the move and indicated that no filibustering tactic will be deployed as far as the first 10 measures are concerned.