Lawmakers criticise lack of nursing home places
Lawmakers yesterday criticised the government for not providing enough subsidised nursing homes for elderly people in need, with a quarter of those on the waiting list dying in the past 11 months. At a special meeting of the Finance Committee, Civic Party legislator Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung, who represents the social welfare sector, said the figures were shameful. From last April to February this year, Dr Cheung said, about 6,000 elderly people had been waiting for subsidised nursing home places.
Visitor arrivals up 2.9pc in February from a year earlier
Visitor arrivals in February rose 2.9 per cent year on year to 2,352,456, the Tourism Board said. Arrivals from the mainland fell by 2.6 per cent to 1,442,302, of which 855,331 were individual visitors, down 6.9 per cent year on year. Markets showing strong growth included South Korea, up 50.1 per cent; the Philippines, a rise of 12.9 per cent; Russia, a 46.9 per cent increase; and India, up 10.8 per cent. Visitor arrivals from Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific rose by 26.2 per cent to 47,628 but arrivals from Taiwan fell 5.6 per cent to 178,018.
No early review of 'wage protection movement'
Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said a review of the 'wage protection movement' would not be conducted before the scheduled date in October despite a lukewarm reaction to the scheme. In a written reply to lawmakers' questions, the government said it had written to 16,000 companies over the past year, but by the end of February only 1,089 had promised to support the voluntary wage movement for cleaners and security guards. He said if the review concluded the movement had failed, the government would draft a law setting a minimum wage.
Alleged smuggler in court
Hong Kong businessman Yeung Chi-shun has appeared before Taizhou City Intermediate People's Court in Zhejiang province to face charges over the mainland's biggest luxury-watch smuggling case, Xinhua reported. Yeung, a director of Dragon Watch, a Causeway Bay company, allegedly conspired with staff from a watch firm in Taizhou , to smuggle 14,000 watches to the mainland and evaded tax of 23.73 million yuan (HK$26.38 million).