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Privacy, the Companies Ordinance, and the Public Right to Know; Kindergarten Rat-Race; Alliance for Universal Suffrage on a Break (25 Jan 2013)


The Hong Kong government has proposed amendments that will make tracing the personal details of company directors via the Hong Kong Companies Registry more difficult. This comes as several news reports have used the registry to investigate the financial affairs of both Hong Kong and mainland Chinese officials and their families.  The Companies Bill was passed in the Legislative Council on 12 July 2012. Subsidiary legislation to that bill will be introduced in the Legislative Council from February 2013. The specific legislation relating to disclosure of ID numbers and residential addresses will be placed before Legco in May 2013.   That legislation, if passed, would obscure the residential addresses and full identification numbers of a company’s directors to the public from the first quarter of 2014. Individuals can also apply to have these personal details blocked on historical filings. News organisations, and even some in financial circles are up in arms, saying that the legislation amendment will make business dealings in the SAR less transparent.   In part two we discuss the education rat-race. Many families start worrying about their child's education from, or even before, the moment of conception. In his election manifesto Chief Executive Leung Chuin-ying promised he would introduce 15 years of free education. His Policy Address delivered less than many had hoped, and gave no concrete dates. Meanwhile, the pressure even for children to get into paid kindergartens is intense, as parents remain determined to give their child a head start.  Finally this week, on Wednesday the Alliance for Universal Suffrage held its last meeting before announcing a temporary break. The alliance is a coalition formed by 11 pro-democracy parties and groups. It was set up to press for more democracy for the Chief Executive election in 2017 and the Legco election in 2020. However, it has proved divisive in the pro-democratic camp, with the League of Social Democrats and the Civic Party in particular, rejecting the idea of closed-door discussions with the liaison office. So is the pro-democratic camp getting any closer to unity?

The Pulse
Publish Date: 
Friday, January 25, 2013
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