Lawmaker urges removal of flower bed at liaison office
Lawmaker Cheung Man-kwong yesterday urged the government to consider removing a flower bed outside the main entrance to the central government liaison office in Sheung Wan, as it made the road too narrow, resulting in conflicts between police and protesters during many demonstrations. He told the Legislative Council security panel the flower bed was built several years ago after regular Falun Gong demonstrations outside the office. 'The road is only several feet wide, but when the police set up layers of barricades and have officers stationed there, this narrow environment easily provokes the emotions of protesters,' he said. Undersecretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said he would pass on the lawmaker's view to the relevant department.
21 workers, 2 bosses arrested in crackdown on illegal jobs
Twenty-one illegal workers and two employers were arrested in a joint operation by the Immigration and Labour departments and police in the northern New Territories. Thirty work sites in Sheung Shui, Yuen Long, Pat Heung, Ta Kwu Ling, Fan Ling and Tin Shui Wai, including electronic refuse depots, computer recycling depots, renovation units and vehicle-dismantling depots, were raided. Those arrested comprised 19 men and two women aged 21 to 54. Twelve were holders of recognisance forms, which prohibit employment.
HSBC chief promises pay rises
HSBC Asia-Pacific chief executive Peter Wong Tung-shun said the group's employees would definitely receive a pay rise next year, but the levels would be based on a market study and the situations of other firms. He said an increase was necessary because of growing competition for labour, with many firms planning to increase the size of their workforces.
HK, Luxembourg sign tax pact
Hong Kong and Luxembourg signed a protocol to the comprehensive agreement on avoidance of double taxation yesterday. Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Professor Chan Ka-keung, signed the protocol with Luxembourg's Minister of Finance, Luc Frieden.