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Regulating Charities; Power Price Hikes; Trapping the Trappers (13 Dec 2013)

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There seem to be more and more charity collectors on the streets, more and more often, some of whom are increasingly pushy, while others have been revealed to be somewhat dubious. The Social Welfare Department says that last year it reported 34 cases of suspected illegal fund raising to the police. The bewildering number of collectors can make even the most generous increasingly reluctant to give. The Law Reform Commission has been looking at ways to increase the transparency and accountability of charitable organizations. On 6th December, it published a report recommending that the government should work with professional bodies to establish financial reporting standards for charities in Hong Kong. It also wants charities to be forced to publish their financial statements and activities for public inspection. With us in the studio is Christine Fang, who is formerly the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, and also worked with the Law Reform Commission to develop its proposals for charity regulation. Whether it’s summer or winter, we spend a lot on power in Hong Kong. In the heat, air conditioning bulks up our bills. In the winter, it’s heating. For the most part Hong Kong is relatively wasteful where electricity is concerned. This week, legislators were quizzing the power companies on how much they were likely to be charging over the coming few years, and why. Under the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance it is illegal to trap any wild animal in Hong Kong. That doesn’t stop poachers. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) says that it still regularly finds illegal traps in the wild. It conducts regular operations to search for and remove these traps, but trappers usually escape capture, unless they are found red-handed. Also regularly hunting down the trappers are the Agriculture Fisheries and Conservation Department, and Kadoorie Farm. But their eforts would have more bite, if the trappers, once caught, actually faced serious penalties.

Program: 
The Pulse
Publish Date: 
Friday, December 13, 2013
Station: 
RTHK
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