AML law passed, permanent tender for social housing to be debated

Plenary meeting of the Legislative Assembly holds a second-reading debate and a vote on the amendment to Law No. 14/2009 on the regime of public service positions; the execution act on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES); Law No. 2/2006 on the prevention and suppression of the crime of money laundering; and Law No. 3/2006 on the prevention and suppression of the crimes of terrorism. GCS

Yesterday, the local Legislative Assembly (AL) passed the law revision of two measures – money laundering measures and countering the financing of terrorism – through a series of alterations to Articles in the two relevant laws currently in effect.
Although not decided unanimously, all Articles in question were voted through, with no spoken objections being raised over the course of the voting process.
The bills passed their first reading in November and expand the current law to cover suspects who have unsuccessfully try to launder money, as well as improving review measures by gaming operators of their clients and contractors.
In the same AL session, a motion put forward by legislator Ella Lei Cheng I for debate on opening a permanent tender for social housing was approved, with 17 votes in favour, seven against and abstentions by legislators Chui Sai Cheong and Cheang Chi Keong.
A number of the favouring legislators lent their support after the approval, with legislator Ng Kuok Cheong proposing to advance the construction of public housing buildings at the same time the government is evaluating candidates who have requested it, finalising the evaluation process at the same time as building construction.
“In reality I think there are conditions to open the tender for candidacies, even this year, and it won’t waste any time because we already have plans to construct public housing in certain areas,” noted the legislator, mentioning in particular to reclaimed land Zone A.
Legislator Chan Chak Mo questioned whether the government has resources for evaluating changing conditions of candidates throughout the waiting process, given changes in marital status or employment potentially affecting their eligibility, a waiting process which legislator Kwan Tsui Hang points out “can take up to one year”.
Legislator Melinda Chan said the attribution of social housing should be permanent and merit based, not like “a lucky draw, like a casino game . . . It should be based on those that need it most, for those who have to take care of children, those with diseases.”