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    三月 2011

    週四 31 三月 2011

    31 Mar 2011 列印 Email

    Category

    Health Care Policies

    Issue

    • Obstetrics and neonatal services

    News Content

    • After a group of public obstetricians called for the government to restrict mainland mothers from giving birth in Hong Kong, Secretary for Food and Health Dr. York Chow said the principle is to give priority to local mothers, hinting the mainlanders may face further restrictions on giving birth in the city.
    • Chow said the problem needs to be tackled as it is an escalating problem, putting much pressure on obstetrics and neonatal services in the city. And he will soon discuss the matter with representatives from private and public hospitals.
    • The head of obstetrics and gynaecology at Prince of Wales Hospital, Dr. Cheung Tak-hong said the government should coordinate maternity services in public and private hospitals.

    Questions

    • The group of public obstetricians has appealed for better planning and coordination in the city’s maternity services, reflecting Chow has not got his job done.
    • Has the Bureau ever estimated or forecasted the services need? Any long-term measures have been taken or will be taken for the increasing needs?
    • Blaming the mainland mothers for causing the problem has again covered up the poor governance.


    週三 30 三月 2011

    30 Mar 2011 列印 Email

    Category

    Political Development – Party Politics

    Issue

    • Chief Executive Election 2012

    News Content

    • Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, the New People’s party leader, blasted Henry Tang Ying-yen and Leung Chun-ying – both expected to run for chief executive in 2012 for lacking the necessary leadership qualities, competence and stamina for the top job.
    • She told SCMP her three-don’ts about the two gentlemen at the upcoming chief executive election. : ‘I don’t think I can work for either of these two names. I don’t think they will success. Even if elected, they won’t be able to stay there.
    • Ip also left a strong a hint that she may be one of the candidates for the CE election. She said she was willing to serve Hong Kong asked if 2012 would be her best opportunity to run for chief executive.
    • She highlighted the Beijing factor in the CE election. She said: ‘It could well be possible that none of them (Tang, Leung and Rita Fan) ever emerge as a candidate. Beijing has been very careful not to drop any hint.’

    Questions

    • The fray is getting hotter, as more potential candidates have emerged, but the whole game is just limited to a group of people. The ordinary people hardly get the chance of being nominated.

     



    週二 29 三月 2011

    29 Mar 2011 列印 Email

    Category

    Labor Policies

    Issue

    • Minimum Wage law

    News Content

    • Although the government introduced guideline for the forthcoming minimum wage law, it has left at least two critical issues – whether workers were to be paid for meal breaks and rest days – unresolved.
    • Commissioner for Labor Cheuk-hing said neither the Minimum Wage Ordinance nor the Employment Ordinance says that meal breaks and rest days should be paid. He said those matters should be settled between employers and employees.
    • He said if existing contracts were not clear, of if employers had problems in shouldering the financial burden, employers should reach consensus with workers on lawful, sensible and reasonable grounds.

    Questions

    • The unclear guideline has outraged labor activists. Unionist lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan believed the guideline appears to favor employers. Tam Leung-ying, organizer of the Neighborhood and Workers Service Centre the 310,000 workers who could benefit from the minimum wage are low-educated and have low skills, therefore they could hardly negotiate with employers.
    • The employers groups are also worried about the ambiguities, fearing it may cause disputes.
    • If the government really want to protect the grass-root labor, it should clearly state out if the meal breaks and rest days are paid or not. Leaving those unsettled but critical issues to employers and employees will put the grass-root labor at a disadvantage.

     



    週五 25 三月 2011

    25 Mar 2011 列印 Email

    Category

    Transport Policy

    Issue

    • MTR increases fares

    News Content

    • Although earning big profits in 2010, MTR Corp. announced yesterday a fare increase amounting to 2.3% would take effect on June 1.
    • The fare increase was derived from a fare adjustment formula incorporated in 2007, which took into the consideration of the composite consumer price index and wage levels of transport workers. It is reported the formula is prone to a positive income, that is, a fare increase during times of inflation.
    • MTR defended the increase, saying it is based upon the needs for purchasing new trains and upgrading services.
    • But the increase has sparked public worries on its impact on the inflationary spiral. The Coalition to Monitor Public Transport and utilities worries the fare increase will impose extra burden to the public.

    Questions

    • The fare increase is not justified, as the MTR has earned big profits in 2010. It was reported the MTR Corp’s underlying profit – profit excluding annual revaluation of properties – jumped to HK8.66 billion last year.
    • The fare increase is not justified, as the public witnessed a decline in its quality of service.
    • The MTR Corp., the city’s sole rail operator, should channel its profits made from its real estate properties to ease the pressure of inflation.

     



    週四 24 三月 2011

    24 Mar 2011 列印 Email

    Category

    Governance – the use of unnecessary force

    Issue

    • Security Secretary defended the use of pepper stray in the anti-budget protest.

    News Content

    • In response to criticism from the League of Social Democrats Legislator Leung Kwok-hung at a special Legco Finance Committee meeting yesterday, Mr. Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong, the Secretary for Security denied the police had misused the pepper stray in the anti-budget protest on March 6, saying the pepper stray was not aimed at the protesters but into the air.
    • Leung disagreed with Lee, saying it was unnecessary to use pepper spray. They police should learn more about civil disobedience.
    • Mr. To, a protester and a NGO organizer, quoted by SCMP, said he was directly sprayed in the face by a policeman.

    Questions

    • Pictures and videos have shown the pepper stray were aimed at the protesters rather than into air. The secretary’s statement is trying to cover the unnecessary force used by the police to suppress civil liberty.
    • It’s wrong to do so. It is wrong to use the pepper spray in suppressing civil obedience at the first hand. And it is wrong to cover it by not telling the truth. The government authority is further undermined.
    • Another mistake the SAR government will has made if the Security Secretary does not make apology to the public for his inaccurate and inappropriate statement.

     


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