MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: Bypass congestion easing

Source: Hong Kong Information Services

The Central-Wan Chai Bypass congestion has been improving, Acting Chief Executive Matthew Cheung says.

Speaking to reporters today ahead of the Executive Council meeting, Mr Cheung said the Transport Department deployed manpower overnight to set up directional signboards and display more information on various digital screens at crucial vantage points for motorists.

“On the Central-Wan Chai Bypass congestion, I would use the words ‘teething problems’ on the first day.

“I’m sure that given time, and also with the completion in a month’s time of the access road, the link road between Rumsey Street and also the access road itself, the bypass itself, the situation will further improve,” he said.

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MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: Law Chi-kwong visits Indonesia

Source: Hong Kong Information Services

The Government is firmly committed to protecting the rights of foreign domestic helpers, Secretary for Labour & Welfare Dr Law Chi-kwong said in Indonesia today.

Dr Law, in his meeting with Indonesia’s Minister of Manpower Hanif Dhakiri in Jakarta, said Hong Kong families are thankful for the contributions of more than 165,000 Indonesian domestic helpers.

He added they help relieve household chores and take care of the elderly and children, thereby unleashing the potential of the local labour force.

Noting that Hong Kong is one of the few places that grant foreign domestic helpers statutory labour protections that are on par with those enjoyed by local workers, Dr Law said he looks forward to strengthening collaboration with the Indonesian Government to further protect their rights in the city.

Dr Law also met representatives of the National Board for the Placement & Protection of Indonesian Overseas Workers and the Association of Migrant Worker Placement Companies and exchanged views on the recruitment of domestic helpers from Indonesia and regulation of employment agencies.

He assured the Indonesian Government that a Code of Practice for Employment Agencies is in place to regulate their operation in Hong Kong.

The code states that such agencies must not get involved in foreign domestic helpers’ financial affairs or keep their passports without explicit consent.

Dr Law also said the Labour Department will introduce an initial screening mechanism this year for early identification of foreign domestic helpers suspected of being exploited.

He added a round-the-clock hotline was launched in December with interpretation service to provide support to the helpers.

Dr Law also met the Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia Xiao Qian to update him on recent developments in Hong Kong, and will attend a dinner gathering with Hong Kong people doing business in the country.

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MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: Tips for drivers using new bypass

Source: Hong Kong Information Services

The Transport Department today said traffic will improve once drivers get familiar with new routes following the opening of the Central-Wan Chai Bypass & Island Eastern Corridor Link, and offered tips for motorists.

The department said that eastbound traffic at the Rumsey Street Flyover was a bit busy and noted that most drivers used the left lane to access the Central area via Man Po Street.

It reminded drivers that the middle lane can also be used to access Man Po Street.

“I think (after) most of the motorists get familiar with the new routing, the traffic condition will be further improved,” the department’s Chief Traffic Engineer (Hong Kong) Leung Siu-kong said.

“We have mobilised our staff to observe the traffic condition at most of the junctions in the busy area and adjust the traffic signal lighting to facilitate those motorists to cross the junction.

“We anticipate that in the coming afternoon peak hours, the traffic condition will be a bit busier, particularly for the western bound traffic.”

He suggested drivers use the original routing via Gloucester Road, Harcourt Road and Connaught Road Central to access Central & Western District.

The Police also reminded drivers to be alert.

Police Traffic Hong Kong Island Superintendent (Enforcement & Control Division) Lee Man-yiu said: “Because (the) roads are still new to the road users, drivers should pay particular attention to the road signs when driving.

“This morning, the traffic from the Western Harbour Crossing leading to the Connaught Road flyover to Central direction was relatively busy, so we suggest the road users can still use the ground level road network.”

Mr Lee added drivers should not illegally cross the double white lines and be careful when changing lanes.

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MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: Kevin Yeung to visit Zhuhai

Source: Hong Kong Information Services

Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung will visit the Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College in Zhuhai tomorrow.

 

Founded in Zhuhai in 2005, it is the first university jointly established by the Mainland and Hong Kong higher education sectors.

 

Mr Yeung will tour the college facilities, attend a discussion session and other gatherings for exchanges with its management, teaching staff, students and alumni.

 

He will return to Hong Kong that evening.

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MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: Youth programme applications open

Source: Hong Kong Information Services

Secondary 4 and 5 students in the 2018-19 academic year are invited to apply for the Be a Government Official for a Day programme 2019 – Heads of Departments edition.

The programme, to be held in April, will give priority to students in the Diploma of Secondary Education curriculum.

Selected students will be given the opportunity to shadow a senior government official on the job for a day to gain a better understanding of the Government’s operation.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced in the 2018 Policy Address that the programme would be expanded this year to include more senior officials to benefit additional students.

Due to the expanded scale, the programme will be held in two phases. Officials participating in this phase will include Under Secretaries, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Departments.

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung said the inaugural programme last year fully reflected the Government’s commitment to enhance its connection with young people.

He said: “The expanded programme will provide additional opportunities for senior government officials to directly interact with senior secondary students. I encourage students to seize this invaluable opportunity by applying for this inspiring programme.”

The completed application forms and school recommendations should be sent by email on or before February 22.

Click here for details.

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MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: Rural election sees 60% turnout rate

Source: Hong Kong Information Services

The 2019 Rural Ordinary Election concluded on January 20 with an overall turnout rate of 60.68%.

 

Polls were held on three consecutive Sundays from January 6.

 

In the Village Representative Election held on the first two Sundays, there were 771 candidates contesting 397 seats, including 264 Indigenous Inhabitant Representatives and 133 Resident Representatives.

 

It saw an overall turnout rate of 61.57% with 52,611 voters casting their ballots.

 

In the Kaifong Representative Election held yesterday, there were 65 candidates contesting 39 Cheung Chau seats, with 3,553 voters having cast their votes, pushing the overall turnout rate to 50.01%.

 

In the three polling days, 36 prisoners or remanded unconvicted people had voted at dedicated polling stations.

 

There were 1,540 seats for the 2019 Rural Ordinary Election, with 998 candidates returned uncontested and 106 seats left vacant with no nomination.

 

There were 195,476 eligible registered electors in the Village Representative Election and 9,542 in the Kaifong Representative Election.

 

The new term representatives will serve for four years from April 1.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific

MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: Rural poll sees 60% turnout rate

Source: Hong Kong Information Services

The 2019 Rural Ordinary Election concluded on January 20 with an overall turnout rate of 60.68%.

 

Polls were held on three consecutive Sundays from January 6.

 

In the Village Representative Election held on the first two Sundays, there were 771 candidates contesting 397 seats, including 264 Indigenous Inhabitant Representatives and 133 Resident Representatives.

 

It saw an overall turnout rate of 61.57% with 52,611 voters casting their ballots.

 

In the Kaifong Representative Election held yesterday, there were 65 candidates contesting 39 Cheung Chau seats, with 3,553 voters having cast their votes, pushing the overall turnout rate to 50.01%.

 

In the three polling days, 36 prisoners or remanded unconvicted people had voted at dedicated polling stations.

 

There were 1,540 seats for the 2019 Rural Ordinary Election, with 998 candidates returned uncontested and 106 seats left vacant with no nomination.

 

There were 195,476 eligible registered electors in the Village Representative Election and 9,542 in the Kaifong Representative Election.

 

The new term representatives will serve for four years from April 1.

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MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: Xiqu Centre elevates HK

Source: Hong Kong Information Services

Chief Executive Carrie Lam

It is heartening to be here with you all today to celebrate the grand opening of the Xiqu Centre, the first major performance venue of the West Kowloon Cultural District. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to serve the development of the West Kowloon Cultural District since its early days in my various positions.

As time goes by, it is clear to me and many people that the West Kowloon Cultural District is of huge significance to Hong Kong, and its contribution will go beyond arts and culture. Its success will enrich our quality of life, complement our economic vitality, and elevate the status of Hong Kong to among the great cities of the world.

As in all world class cultural projects around the world in history, delivering this ambitious West Kowloon Cultural District project is no easy task. I wish to thank the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, the architects and contractors, and many parties involved in bringing Hong Kong’s first venue tailored to the artistic needs of the rich traditional Chinese art form of xiqu to fruition.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay particular tribute to the late Bing Thom, the lead architect of this project. Bing was born in Hong Kong, and the Xiqu Centre is his homecoming project. We are indebted to him for his exquisite work which has greatly enriched Hong Kong’s architectural scene. On the opening of this gem, I believe that everyone who has contributed to the project would share his thought: “I like to empower everyone. If you walk here and feel a little taller, I am happy.” This quote from Bing is now engraved on the sitting area in the Xiqu atrium.

Let’s work together to take Cantonese opera and the xiqu art form as a whole to the next level and to the global stage through this Xiqu Centre. And let’s look forward to the commissioning of more world-class facilities in the West Kowloon Cultural District very soon. Thank you very much.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam gave these remarks at the opening ceremony for the Xiqu Centre at the West Kowloon Cultural District on January 20.

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MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: Lau Kong-wah visits polling station

Source: Hong Kong Information Services

Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah today visited the polling station for the Kaifong Representative Election for Cheung Chau Market Town.

Today is the last polling day of the 2019 Rural Ordinary Election, which covers two types of rural representatives, Village Representatives and Kaifong Representatives.

Today is the polling day of the Kaifong Representative Election while the Village Representative Election was conducted on two Sundays on January 6 and 13. 

Mr Lau said: “I am delighted to see the Kaifong Representative Election is properly arranged. I believe today’s election will be held smoothly.” 

There are 82 validly nominated candidates in the Kaifong Representative Election, 65 candidates from Cheung Chau Market Town contested 39 seats, while 17 candidates from Peng Chau Market Town were returned uncontested.

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MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: Edward Yau to visit Switzerland

Source: Hong Kong Information Services

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau will attend the World Trade Organization (WTO) Informal Ministerial Gathering and meetings and events held during the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, from January 22 to 26.

Mr Yau will speak at a panel discussion entitled “Building the Belt & Road and sharing the benefits of the economic globalisation” at the Belt & Road Forum hosted by Tsinghua University, International Cooperation Center of the National Development & Reform Commission, United Nations Industrial Development Organization and United Nations Institute for Training & Research, and co-organised by the Commerce & Economic Development Bureau.

He will meet other trade ministers and business leaders attending the events to discuss issues relating to forging closer economic and trade ties. He will also join part of Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s visit programme.

Held on the margins of the WEF on January 25, the WTO Informal Ministerial Gathering provides an opportunity for participating ministers to discuss the latest global trade developments and brainstorm ways to advance the trade agenda and preserve the relevance and credibility of the multilateral trading system.

Before the Informal Ministerial Gathering, Mr Yau will attend the Informal Ministerial Meeting on Electronic Commerce to explore with other ministers on how WTO negotiations can capture opportunities offered by electronic commerce for all WTO Members.

In his absence, Under Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Bernard Chan will be Acting Secretary.

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