Apologies – we were working overtime to get you today’s edition of headlines. Here’s what’s making headlines in the Cantonese press in Hong Kong, as provided to the clients of Kreab Gavin Anderson.
Leung says he thought he had resolved his illegal structure problem
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has previously said that the reason why he had originally claimed that he had no illegal structures on his Peak property was because he had already bricked up the existing illegal structure on his own initiative last November. Yesterday, Leung once again denied that he had concealed any illegal structures saying that, according to his understanding at the time, he believed that he had solved the problem. On the question of whether Leung violated the law by not informing the Buildings Department of the illegal structure, Leung said that he did not know that he had to provide such a notification. However, Leung’s explanation has not satisfied some legislators. Pro-establishment lawmaker Paul Tse has decided to call for a motion of no confidence in Leung, while the Democratic Party is considering changing its motion of no confidence against ExCo member Franklin Lam to target Leung.
Over a quarter of Hong Kong workers work overtime
Yesterday, the government released the Report of the Policy Strategy on Standard Working Hours – a document that has been a year in the making. The report says that 25 percent of workers in Hong Kong, or 660,000 people, currently work overtime. Of those people, 48 percent are not compensated for the extra work. The report notes that the working hours of six major industries are rather long, among which the Security and Building Management industry is the most severe case. In that industry, workers work 69 hours per week, far exceeding the average of 49 hours for Hong Kong. Measuring three different scenarios for standard working hours, the report indicates that employers might have to pay an additional HK$55.2 billion, and workers could earn 13 percent more if Hong Kong implements standard working hours.
MPF Schemes Authority suggests the provision of low-fee funds
The Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) Schemes Authority yesterday announced the results of a report that proposed five MPF reform measures, including recommendations that all MPF schemes offer different types of low-fee funds and that an electronic MPF platform be established. The MPF Schemes Authority hopes that costs will fall from 1.74 percent to 0.6 percent in five years. However, the Authority emphasized that a reduction in costs did not necessarily translate into a reduction in fees. Additionally, the Authority said that trustees would have to be monitored to ensure that they were offering low-fee funds, otherwise an upper limit on fees would have to be established.