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