At Kreab Gavin Anderson (Hong Kong) we provide clients a daily synopsis of what’s making headlines in the major Chinese newspapers. I trust you find these updates of interest.
Ricky Wong gives an ultimatum to the government
Fed up with what he sees as foot-dragging by the government, which has not issued three new free-to-air TV licenses despite having three years to consider the matter, Citi Television Chairman Ricky Wong has delivered an ultimatum. If the government does not issue the new licenses within a month, he will take action by looking into a judicial review and by calling for a protest in front of the government’s headquarters. As for the controversy surrounding the concert-type demonstration held by ATV on Sunday to protest the issuance of new licenses, Democratic Party legislator Emily Lau has written a letter to the Office of the Communications Authority to call for an investigation. Critics feel that Wong Ching, ATV’s principal investor, is opposed to competition. They also believe that the ATV protest might have violated broadcast rules by airing its own propaganda.
Pro-business LegCo alliance says housing market measures will harm Hong Kong’s competitiveness
Yesterday, Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung said that the extension of the Special Stamp Duty and the establishment of a new Buyer Stamp Duty had already had a cooling effect on the housing market. However, he said that the market was still getting used to the measures and that buyers and sellers had different views on the cooling measures. Nevertheless, Andrew Leung, who represents a professional business grouping in LegCo, says that he has already informed the Financial Secretary that home sales are up and that prices have not fallen since the government put the cooling measures in place. Moreover, he says that the measures will reduce the long-term competitiveness of Hong Kong.
Alan Hoo says Justice Department acted unprofessionally
Former Secretary for Justice Elsie Leung and Basic Law Institute Chairman Alan Hoo have recently been accused of harming Hong Kong’s rule of law by criticizing what they perceive as problems with the Department of Justice. In response, the LegCo Panel on the Administration of Justice and Legal Services has sent a letter to Elsie Leung, inviting her to meet with representatives of two lawyers’ associations and the current secretary for justice to discuss the matter. In a new twist to the controversy, Alan Hoo specified yesterday that he had not suggested that Hong Kong judges all be Chinese as had been previously reported. He criticized the Justice Department and the Bar Association for acting unprofessionally upon news reports that they did not fully understand.