【文章】最容易做的財政預算案

2020-02-26 | 信報財經新聞
A15 | 時事評論 | 專業議政

此文見報之日,是今年《財政預算案》公布之時。

財政司司長陳茂波在剛過去的周末發表網誌,目的明顯是作期望管理。開頭說「有人形容也許這是歷來最難做的預算案之一」,文末則明言「政府的資源始終有限,這份預算案不可能完全滿足所有人的要求……」似乎是向幾乎所有政黨強烈要求和絕大部分市民合理期望的「派一萬元」訴求澆冷水。

特區政府窮得只剩下錢,財多卻說資源有限,推搪市民單一和清晰的訴求,難怪是一份最難做的預算案。

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【文章】林鄭無信 政府難治

2020-02-18 | 信報財經新聞
A12 | 時事評論 | 專業議政

上星期最注目的政治新聞,非中央重整港澳辦莫屬。原港澳辦主任張曉明被「降級」,變成副主任。接連有港澳辦和中聯辦的主事官員被免職或降格,難免令人關心特首林鄭月娥的仕途。耐人尋味的是,接受訪問的建制中人,都不敢預測林鄭的前程如何。很明顯,即使林鄭能夠繼續「好官她自為之」,這時候連建制派都不敢明目張膽地「撐」她。這個無非是因為特區政府在應對武漢肺炎的表現實在差劣。政見有不同,但疫病無差別。政府抗疫不力,所有市民當然極之憤懣。

多位問責官員都承認,市民對政府不信任,令政府的抗疫工作難上加難。這個說法,只指出現象,沒有道出原因。市民不信任政府,是因為林鄭本人無誠信和不理性。

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【文章】不要再多一個李文亮醫生

2020-02-10 | 信報財經新聞
A13 | 時事評論 | 專業議政

傳媒每天報道武漢肺炎的新聞,看着內地的感染和死亡人數不斷上升,然而都只是一堆沒有名字的數字。日前終於有一個病逝者的名字在傳媒和網絡瘋傳,看着令人義憤填膺,那就是李文亮醫生。

李文亮醫生是向外界披露武漢出現新型冠狀病毒肺炎的八名醫護人員之一。

武漢於2019年12月1日出現首宗新型肺炎病例,隨着染病人數增加,12月30日李文亮醫生與其他七位醫護人員在社交應用程式,披露有不明的冠狀病毒肺炎爆發。翌日,即2020年1月1日,武漢市政府迅速採取行動,對象卻不是疫病,而是所謂依法查處披露疫情,叫大家提防的八位醫護人員。次日,即1月2日,中央電視台新聞報道,指武漢市政府依法查處八名造謠者。再次日,李文亮醫生在社交平台表示,自己被武漢市武昌分局警示和訓誡,罪名是在互聯網上發表不實言論,嚴重擾亂社會秩序,違反了中國法律。其他七名醫護人員亦被武漢市政府同樣懲處,故被稱為「造謠八君子」。

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Dennis Kwok eNewsletter FEB 2020

24th February 2020

General Adjournment of Court Hearings – Update

The Judiciary has suspended all court hearings (save for a narrow spectrum of urgent applications) for more than 3 weeks now. It is expected that this suspension will continue for some time due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Whilst we understand why the Courts may have to be closed due to public health concerns, the lack of information and transparency from the Judiciary is disappointing. I requested the Judiciary Administrator (together with representatives of the Bar and Law Society) to attend the AJLS Panel meeting for an urgent discussion of this matter and the following issues:

Immediately enable the filing of applications and submissions via emails by setting up dedicated e-filing systems for each court, with clear details provided to litigants and practitioners. E-filing is long overdue and should have been set up many years ago.

All interlocutory applications should be dealt with by paper disposal as much as possible.

A clear plan to inform all stakeholders on the arrangement for hearings and trials once the Court resumes full operation. The information from the Judiciary so far is seriously lacking in detail. A doubling up of the effort to clear up backlogged cases is urgently required.

The $30 billion Relief Fund

The $30 billion Relief Fund has been approved by the Finance Committee of LegCo after more than 8 hours of deliberation on 21st February. During the meeting, I raised with the Administration on why there has been no relief provided to professional service sectors.

Professional services, like many others, have been hard hit by the Coronavirus outbreak, and we are the backbone of HK’s status as an IFC. This is clearly unacceptable, and I expect and demand the Administration to address this deficiency in the upcoming Budget.

Please stay safe, and contact me should you have any queries.

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