Policy Address Roundup CY Leung’s annual policy address last Wednesday prioritized poverty and housing. The new Low-Income Working Family Allowance aims to subsidize poor families while encouraging them to remain employed. The overdue policy to teach Chinese as a second language to ethnic minority students is rolled out. Suggestions to raise maximum allowable building density by 20 percent and build homes on some 150 green belt and government sites are raised. CY also wants to build an artificial island between Lantau and Hong Kong island, and turn it into a core business district. But the middle class feels left out, with no mention of any policies targeting the group. The policy address is also criticized for its bad Chinese—a word for “youngsters” is wrongly used, and passive sentences abound. Our take: Well done to CY for coming up with the new allowance scheme, but making an artificial “business island” is utter madness. Indonesian Maid Abused for Eight Months Erwiana Sulistyaningsih, a 23-year-old Indonesian domestic worker, was sent home by her employers after reportedly suffering severe injuries from repeated abuse. She only dared talk about what happened after boarding the plane, in fear of retribution from her employers. She said they denied her food, poured hot water on her and beat her. She’s now recovering in a hospital in Indonesia. It is said that Sulistyaningsih called her agency for help, but they merely urged her to continue working. A second domestic worker said she was abused by the same woman. The Hong Kong police are investigating the claims. Our take: We need tighter regulation on employers and agents of migrant workers. More Threats to Press Freedom Free daily Chinese-language newspaper am730’s founder Shih Wing-ching went public with the claim that mainland-backed companies, including banks and mobile network providers, simultaneously pulled advertisements from his newspaper last November. Apple Daily’s CEO Ip Yut-kin confirmed the same phenomenon at his paper. Shih writes in a column that he would rather close down his paper than sell it to companies with ties to China. This follows Ming Pao’s sudden plans to replace its editor-in-chief with a pro-Beijing Malaysian editor. Our take: Press freedom should be a right, not a Beijing-backed privilege.