Govt re­news pledge to work with law­mak­ers Lam, Che­ung ask LegCo mem­bers to put pol­i­tics aside when deal­ing with so­cial is­sues

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By LUIS LIU in Hong Kong luis­liu@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

Two of Hong Kong’s top of­fi­cials stressed on Thurs­day that the gov­ern­ment would con­tinue to en­hance ex­ec­u­tive-leg­isla­tive re­la­tions de­spite ten­sions erupt­ing over the dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion of four op­po­si­tion law­mak­ers.

The state­ment came af­ter the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil Fi­nance Com­mit­tee sat through a marathon eight-hour de­lib­er­a­tion be­fore pass­ing the gov­ern­ment’s ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing pro­posal which had pre­vi­ously won sup­port from across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum.

Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Car­rie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said at a youth event that LegCo’s work was af­fected by po­lit­i­cal af­fairs. She called on mem­bers to sep­a­rate eco­nomic and liveli­hood is­sues from po­lit­i­cal ones.

She also ex­pressed re­gret that the de­lay meant five fi­nan- cial items could not be ap­proved. Those in­cluded a HK$20.5 bil­lion fund­ing re­quest for the Tung Chung New Town ex­pan­sion project, and the civil ser­vants’ pay rise.

Chief Sec­re­tary for Ad­min­is­tra­tion Matthew Che­ung Kinchung also ex­tended an olive branch to LegCo. At a lunch with lo­cal me­dia he vowed that the gov­ern­ment will re­main sin­cere and co­op­er­a­tive with LegCo mem­bers in fu­ture since this would ben­e­fit gov­er­nance as well as the over­all in­ter­ests of so­ci­ety.

How­ever, he clar­i­fied there was a red line. “Any po­lit­i­cal dis­agree­ment should never over­ride so­cial liveli­hood is­sues,” Che­ung said.

He said the up­com­ing LegCo sum­mer re­cess would be a “cool­ing-off pe­riod” for all par­ties to con­sider fu­ture work be­tween the gov­ern­ment and leg­is­la­ture.

He stressed the gov­ern­ment is will­ing to com­pro­mise on so­cial is­sues. How­ever, it will not con­cede on the rule of law. The gov­ern­ment will fol­low court rul­ings and re­spect the LegCo in deal­ing with the sub­se­quent mat­ters, Che­ung stressed.

The gov­ern­ment’s ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing pro­posal won sup­port from a broad spec­trum of law­mak­ers. How­ever, the op­po­si­tion camp reignited ten­sions with the gov­ern­ment last week af­ter the High Court dis­qual­i­fied four law­mak­ers who had vi­o­lated the le­gal re­quire­ments of oath-tak­ing when they were sworn in last year.

Thus dur­ing the meet­ing op­po­si­tion mem­bers moved a num­ber of mo­tions at the ses­sion in a bid to de­lay vot­ing.

For­tu­nately, the fund­ing re­quest was ap­proved as a buzzer beater since the Fi­nance Com­mit­tee meet­ing was the last be­fore the sum­mer break.

The up­com­ing LegCo sum­mer re­cess will be a cool­ing-off pe­riod for all par­ties to con­sider fu­ture work.” Matthew Che­ung Kin-chung, chief sec­re­tary for ad­min­is­tra­tion Teens get some soc­cer drib­bling prac­tice at the open­ing cer­e­mony on Thurs­day for the five-day In­ner Mon­go­lia In­ter­na­tional Teenagers Foot­ball Sum­mer Camp 2017. The camp will in­clude ath­let­ics and cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ences.

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