Following is a summary of major news and comments in the Hong Kong Economic Journal, the parent publication of EJ Insight, on Monday, March 3:
Govt may take back MTR property development right
A study has been conducted on the property development right of MTR Corp. Ltd. (00066.HK) for residential projects along its rail lines, Secretary for Development Paul Chan said. However, he declined to give details amid legal issues involved in possible revocation of the rights. The government is prepared to take a leading role in the project development, although it is still trying to collaborate with the rail operator in rolling out residential projects in an orderly manner in the next two to three years, Chan noted, adding that difficulties in reaching a consensus over land premiums have led to MTR’s failure to successfully tender any projects in recent years.
New company law poised to boost Hong Kong’s international status
Interview: The new Companies Ordinance is aimed at lowering overall compliance costs for enterprises while aligning corresponding rules with international standards, said Au King-chi, Permanent Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury. Corporate governance levels and investor confidence can be enhanced after modernizing relevant clauses of the company law, resulting in a higher status in the international arena for Hong Kong as a marketplace, Au added. The new version of the company law, which was a revamp of the old 1932 version, will take effect from Monday.
Li seen unveiling measures for national reforms
Premier Li Keqiang is expected to unveiled plans to push forward national reforms as he delivers his first government work report at the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Beijing on Monday. Government goals on growth and monetary supply, among other economic barometers, are also likely to be set forth. However, lesser emphasis will be placed on those economic indicators in gauging local government performance, Chinese media reported. Analysts forecast this year’s growth target will stand at 7.5 percent with a 13 percent expected growth in broad money supply.
Hong Kong NPC, CPPCC deputies in one voice against civil nomination
Hong Kong deputies to the National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference yesterday reiterated opposition to civil nomination for the 2017 chief executive election. Maria Tam, an NPC deputy and Basic Law Committee member, said the nomination method was never mentioned in the Basic Law. She urged the pan-democrats to think twice if they should insist on the idea. CPPCC standing committee member Henry Tang also spoke against “creative” interpretation of the Basic Law’s electoral provisions, adding that the Basic Law says clearly that nomination should be made through a nominating committee.
Thousands march to uphold press freedom
In view of the sharp differences over a list of political and social issues in Hong Kong, it is important that consensus is reached through rational discussion. Against that background, freedom of the press and expression is even more important. We cannot afford to lose it. Any attempt to use violence to frighten journalists will only give more courage to them to fulfill their duty. More than 13,000 people took to the street yesterday in the city to call for the arrest of the culprits in the attack against former Ming Pao chief editor Kevin Lau. It gives a clear message for the police to catch the culprits as soon as possible. Calls for upholding freedom of the press and speech have also underlined the importance of rule of law.
Ming Pao urged to explain princelings reports, ousting of Kevin Lau
Compared with the case of the sacking of former Commercial Radio phone-in program host Li Wai-ling, the knife attack against former chief editor of Ming Pao is far more serious, former HKEJ chief editor Joseph Lian wrote. Ming Pao should give a detailed account on its joint project with the International Consortium on Investigative Journalists on the economic activities of offspring of Communist Party’s princelings and the ousting of Law from the post of chief editor – and whether there are connections between the two issues. This will help police investigation.
– Contact us at [email protected]