In Brief

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 October, 2007, 12:00am

Pan-democrats, Liberal Party discuss old-age allowance plan

Lawmakers from six pan-democrat groups and the Liberal Party met yesterday to discuss a plan to jointly urge the government to increase the old-age allowance and the proposed medical vouchers distributed to the elderly. Suggestions of revised payments were made, with the amounts yet to be agreed on. The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong and the Federation of Trade Unions, which did not participate in the meeting, said they had been making similar proposals.

19 schools plan to expand

Nineteen international schools applied to the government in recent years for expansion of their campuses, either on site, on neighbouring lots or in rented vacant government premises. Secretary for Education Michael Suen Ming-yeung told the Legislative Council yesterday that nine applications were approved, seven were being processed and three were not supported.

Businessman in court for fraud

The chairman of aluminium products maker Ocean Grand Holdings 'communicated' with the Securities and Futures Commission while he was away on the mainland managing his business and caring for his sick father, a defence lawyer told Eastern court. The prosecution alleged that Michael Yip Kim-po, who was arrested at the border last month on fraud charges, masterminded false transactions totalling HK$1 billion between 2004 and 2006.

Drugs body 'being sidelined'

Lawmakers criticised the government for sidelining the current anti-narcotics organisation in favour of a new high-level inter-departmental taskforce to tackle the problem of juvenile drug abuse. James To Kun-sun, vice-chairman of the Legislative Council's security panel, said the role of the new taskforce would be very similar to that of the Action Committee Against Narcotics. The advisory body includes experts in social work, education and medicine.