‘Offsetting’, ‘co-location’ and other Hong Kong buzz words in the news this week

What the government, and other politicians, really mean when they use jargon you’d never hear anywhere else

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 July, 2017, 8:30am
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 July, 2017, 8:30am


What does it mean? “Co-location”, in this case, means putting customs, immigration and quarantine checks for both the Hong Kong and mainland Chinese authorities inside the new terminal for the high-speed rail link to Guangzhou, which is set to start running in the second half of 2018. The key upshot is that mainland officials would end up enforcing mainland laws in Hong Kong, which some say would contravene the city’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law.

Why was it in the news this week? On Tuesday the local government’s advisory body, the Executive Council, ­approved the government’s plan to lease to mainland authorities a quarter of the West Kowloon ­terminus. Opposition legislators vowed to go all out to stop that happening, but ministers denied there was a strong legal case against the plan.

Read the full story here:

Joint Hong Kong-mainland China checkpoint given go-ahead despite legal fears


What does it mean? The controversial Mandatory Provident Fund offsetting mechanism allows employers to dip into employees’ pensions to cover long-service and severance payments. Last year, HK$3.85 billion was offset by employers – up 70 per cent from HK$2.27 billion in 2012. Before leaving office in June, former chief executive Leung Chun-ying said the government would scrap the mechanism.

Why was it in the news this week? In their first meeting with the city’s new labour minister over the issue, bosses refused to concede much ground over the government’s attempts to make good on Leung’s pledge. The issue has been a source of dispute for both employees and employers, and is already proving to be a difficult topic for the new administration.

Read the full story here:

Hong Kong bosses refuse to budge on proposal to halve staff payouts if employers leave pension pots alone


What does it mean? Well this is an easy one: it’s short for “disqualification”. In this case, it refers to the disqualification of four pro-democracy legislators for not taking their members’ oaths properly. The four were Nathan Law Kwun-chung, Lau Siu-lai, “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung and Edward Yiu Chung-yim. Their ousters took the total number of lawmakers expelled from the chamber over the oaths to six.

Why was it in the news this week? On Friday the four bade farewell to the Legislative Council, and marched from the building holding a banner that read “We will keep fighting”. Leung said the government had disqualified them, but could not disqualify voters in the by-elections to replace them, for which dates are yet to be set.

Read the full story here:

Disqualified lawmakers move out of their offices but vow to return