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🌊 Free Tide: Government officials violate COVID regulations
Carrie Lam asks public to move on despite accusations of preferential treatment
Happy Monday everyone! I am back on High Tide again after a weekend of Cyril content. Hopefully, you won’t miss him too much.
~ Sze Yu
Chief Executive admits security officials broke social-distancing rules
This Sunday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam admitted that three senior security officials had violated social distancing regulations by attending a dinner at a luxury clubhouse in Wan Chai. Lam defended the three officials (paywalled) and said that they have already been fined and appropriately punished.
“Some said they were served with luxurious dishes, but how would they know [what was to be served] as guests? They didn’t know what was on the menu and could not just stand up and leave when they saw a piece of abalone,”
— Chief Executive Carrie Lam
The illegal gathering, exposed by local media on Wednesday, took place at a private luxury club where the minimum spend for private rooms are as high as HK $3,888 per person. The news sparked widespread allegations of preferential treatment, and Democratic Party district councillor Ramon Yuen Hoi-man responded by calling the case “embarrassing“.
“Does Lam mean that officials have not breached any rules as long as they ‘know nothing’? They should have declared the dinner [as a perk] afterwards or paid the cost, but apparently they did not,” Ramon said.
Coronavirus in Hong Kong
New cases: 1 (imported)
Total cases: 11,951 cases so far (87 active cases, 212 total deaths, 11,652 total recovered)
Tens of thousands of Hong Kong airport staff have been ordered to undergo testing after an airport worker was confirmed as positive on Sunday (paywalled). The 50-year-old man is suspected to have the Delta variant. He is the second airport staff to have caught the virus—the first was a 27-year-old airport worker who is believed to have caught the Delta strain from Indonesian travellers in late June.
Property developer New World sold flats despite concrete defects
New World Development continued selling flats at Sha Tin residential property Pavilia Farm III because engineers did not consider concrete defects serious enough. Between June 20 and 27, the real estate developer made billions of dollars of sales for apartments at the property.
On July 3, however, New World’s contractor reported that the concrete strength in the wall base in two of the seven tower blocks had failed to meet design standards. Five days later, New World announced that it was going to demolish and rebuild the affected towers. Buyers will be compensated for an additional nine month wait, they said.
Paid Tide readers find out what Bon Jovi’s doing on your screen this month. You can too.
Carrie Lam says that Chief Secretary John Lee’s focus will be on curbing national security. Acknowledging, Mr Lee’s inexperience, the Chief Executive revealed that she would oversee other areas, while the Chief Secretary’s primary role would be dealing with national security threats (paywalled).
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