Yesterday was a day to fall in love with Hong Kong – blue skies, pleasant temperature, low air pollution. Today is a day to take vacation. It’s moist, cold and close. That may get worse with all those cruise ships clogging up the new Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. Why? Read on…
“Non-statutory” council picks five research areas
The Financial Services Development Council advocated by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying held its first meeting yesterday. The council members agreed on five research areas: financial policy, mainland opportunities, creation of business, market promotion, and human resources. Although the government has been defending the new council for several days, the public is still determined to express criticism. Yesterday, critics seized upon a comment made by the council’s chairwoman, Laura Cha, that the new council was a private organization. Cha later clarified that she meant that the council was a “non-statutory” body.
Leung’s popularity plummets following Policy Address
Hong Kong University’s survey center has published the results of a public opinion survey that the center organized following the Policy Address of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. According to the center, Leung’s satisfaction rate has taken a hit in the days following the Policy Address, falling by 8.2 points to 48.2 percent. The satisfaction rate of the Policy Address has also fallen, from almost 36 percent to nearly 27 percent. The number of unsatisfied respondents has risen by 15 points to over 39 percent. In response, an academic explained that it was likely that, following the policy address, the public had immediately drawn the conclusion that Leung’s government was determined to solve the housing problem and other social issues. However, the academic noted that reactions to the Policy Address by academics and social groups had likely caused the public to realize just how difficult the housing problem was to resolve. The public might have also noticed how little the Policy Address said on certain other hot-button social issues.
Government proposes three measures to reduce cruise ship air pollution
Regarding the effect that the completion of the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal will have on Hong Kong’s air pollution, the government has proposed three measures to mitigate the problem. The measures include research into the feasibility of using a system that would plug ships into the local electricity grid; the passage of legislation that would require ocean-going vessels to use ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel while in Hong Kong waters; and, in the short-term, encouraging vessel operators to take advantage of a subsidy program that encourages vessels to use ultra-low-sulfur diesel. Some cruise ship companies said that they would respect the decision of the government.