By: POON Hiu LamEdited by: LAM Tsz Yau

Politics

RTHK producer Bao Choy goes on trial for false declaration while searching public database

  RTHK producer Bao Choy went on trial on Wednesday, charged with two counts of making false declarations in breach of the Road Traffic Ordinance. Ms Choy pleaded not guilty to two counts of making a false statement in obtaining license information from an online vehicle registration department. Prosecutors said Ms Choy used the public database for her reporting rather than for traffic issues as she indicated on her user application. The defense attorney played Ms Choy’s RTHK documentary episode, “Hong Kong Connection: 7.21 Who Owns the Truth”, to show her use of the database was related to traffic issues. Prosecutors read out a witness statement by an employee from the Transport Department who said people should only make a vehicle registration search for transport-related proceedings or traffic and transport-related matters. Before the hearing, around a dozen members of the RTHK Programme Staff Union staged a demonstration outside the court. They shouted slogans -- including “Support Choy Yuk-ling! Fearless and selfless! Protect the truth and freedom!” -- and held up placards that read “Journalism is not a crime” and “Without fear or favour”. Principal Magistrate Chui Yee-mei adjourned the case until April 22, extending her bail period.

Health & Environment

More than 60,000 sign up for Sinovac jabs

Online registration for Hong Kong’s first round of Covid vaccination began at midnight last night. But the waiting time exceeded 50 minutes soon after the start. By morning, the waiting time was still about 30 minutes. Some of those who tried to sign up complained that they encountered up to 521 errors on the website. Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Alfred Sit Wing-hang said in an interview on RTHK that the demand exceeded the capacity of the government’s registration system, but the glitch was fixed within an hour. By noon, at least 60,000 people had signed up. To register, the system will first ask for an identity card number. The first inoculation is available from 26 February, followed by a second jab 28 days later. Registrants can choose between five Community Vaccination Centres and 18 general out-patient clinics under the Hospital Authority. But by noon, most of the slots had been taken. The earliest available slots are not till the end of next week. Five priority groups can make appointments online to get the vaccine. They include healthcare staff, persons aged 60 years or above, staff of residential care homes, essential public service workers, and personnel involved in cross border transportation. Reservations can be made at www.covidvaccine.gov.hk.Elderly people may bring up to two carers to receive the vaccine at the same time. Only the Sinovac vaccine will be available for the first round. Private clinics participating in the inoculation programme are expected to start providing the jabs by mid-March. On Feb 22 Monday, Hong Kong‘s leader Carrie Lam was the first person to receive China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine in a bid to improve public confidence in the mainland-developed vaccine. The Executive Council on Tuesday passed that starting from Wednesday, social gathering restrictions will be relaxed to allow up to four …