🌊Carrie's perfect report card
Doggos DEFEND HK
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On Today’s Tide
Politics | Carrie Lam gets a perfect report card
COVID | clusters keep growing but the deaths….
Policy | MPF offsetting cancelled
Doggo | DEFEND HK Customs and AVESCO raise puppets
Crime | Woman arrested for balcony sex
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Carrie’s perfect score card
In yesterday’s final Legco Q&A of her tenure, CE Carrie Lam said “I can say boldly that I have delivered a report card I am not ashamed of, and have written a perfect full stop to my 42 years in public service”.
Speaking of her 5 year tenure, which included the 2019 Anti-ELAB demonstrations sparked by her unpopular extradition bill, the enacting of the NSL, and the COVID-19 Pandemic, Lam said “In the past five years, we have seen the biggest challenge for the SAR since reunification. The past five years were full of turbulence, but I remained undaunted,”
The Chief Executive also noted that it has been 25 years since the Handover - technically speaking, half way through One Country, Two Systems - but there is no reason to worry because Beijing has made it clear that they won’t remove a system that works. And with the changes after the NSL, 1C2S just works!
COVID in Hong Kong
COVID-19 in Hong Kong
New cases: 674
Total cases: 1,216,902
New deaths: 1
Total deaths: 9,390
New rules kicking in next week will require all patients at out-patient clinics to be either triple vaxxed, an official exemption or a negative PCR test taken within the past 48 hours. However, rights groups for the disabled argued that this policy is discriminatory and will lead to many patients not getting help.
Rabi Yim, head of the Direction Association for the Handicapped said that getting a PCR test is as difficult as visiting the out-patient clinic itself, as many PCR testing centres aren’t easily accessible by wheelchair.
Yim, who is herself disabled, also said that many patients can’t get vaccinated for health reasons, but also find it difficult to get a doctor’s exemption. And that in any case, exemptions only last 3 months. Many patients have already cancelled appointments due to the extra steps.
MPF offsetting offset
A controversial bill canceling the MPF offset has been passed by Legco. The bill, which was first tabled on Wednesday, has been a 20 year battle - as old as the MPF itself - for some lawmakers. Michael Luk of the FTU on Wednesday sang a little ditty based on everyone HKer’s favourite folk song….Greensleeves … about why the MPF offsetting mechanism should be banned.
Until yesterday, employers were able to use their share of a worker’s MPF to pay service and long term severance. This would sometimes leave workers without enough money at retirement.
Under new legislation, the mechanism will be gradually phased out till 2025. In the meantime, the government has earmarked HK$33.2 billion to pay for extra costs incurred by employers for 25 years.
Many pro-business legco members were not happy, however, with some saying the only reason they supported the MPF 20 years ago was because of the mechanism. They argued that this would give unnecessary financial pressure on SMEs who now have to cough up ‘extra’ money for workers’ retirement.
Events and deals
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ReThink returns 5-6 Oct
HT is proud to once again be a media partner for ReThink - HK’s biggest and most exciting sustainability conference. This year’s conference invites more than 300 expert speakers to share their visions and insights, covering important topics like economic progression while coexisting with nature harmoniously, efficient use of resources, transformation to a low-carbon society, and circular economy for future generations.
And some REALLY COOL EXHIBITION COUNTERS TOO. Last year, I got a potted plant <3 Read our full press release on the event here.
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Sign up here using the code HTP22 for 25% off!
As chosen by our LoTW Luke Samtani: I follow a vegan plant-based diet, undoubtedly, I'm excited about Hong Kong's biggest and most diverse vegetarian and green living expo that will take place in June.
When: 10-12 Jun (latest rescheduling)
Entry: Free (advanced registration; $20 walk-in)
Sha Tau Kok Partially Opens to Tourists
The border town of Sha Tau Kok is partially opening up to tourists. Located within the Frontier Closed Area, Sha Tau Kok is normally only accessible with a special travel pass. But now local tours can visit the longest pier in Hong Kong and several other small Hakka islands on Fridays and weekends.
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