'No collusion' over killing debate, proposer insists

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 May, 2012, 12:00am


The lawmaker who on Thursday proposed killing the legislative filibuster denied colluding with the Legco president to invoke a never-before-used power to do so.

Pro-government lawmaker Philip Wong Yu-hong did not speak during the 33-hour debate until he made a surprising request at 4.30am - asking Tsang Yok-sing to terminate the debate.

That prompted Tsang's decision to stop the chamber's scrutiny of the 1,300 amendments People Power filed in its filibuster.

Video footage of the meeting shows Wong receiving two memos - one from Legco secretary general Pauline Ng Man-wah and another from an unidentified person - minutes before he asked Tsang to stop the debate.

Shortly before that, Tsang was recorded as saying, 'Pauline, let's take action after they [lawmakers] come back [from their break].' All this raised speculation that Wong and Tsang were in collusion.

Wong denied the accusation yesterday, however. 'Why cast doubt on me? I have been the most honest. I would not lie,' he protested.

The memo from the secretariat, he said, concerned the length of the meeting - which Ng confirmed. Wong claimed he had forgotten the contents of the second memo, and said it was entirely his own idea to call for an end to the debate.

Tsang denied communicating with Wong, or any other lawmaker, before making his controversial decision. '[There was] no conspiracy. I never discussed what I should do with any members,' he said.

However, Tsang failed to explain his 'let's take action' comment to Ng. 'I can't remember the context of making that remark,' he said. 'I had many communications with the secretary general throughout.' Tsang repeatedly denied being pressured from outside Legco to end the debate.

Meanwhile, Tam Yiu-chung, chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, denied the party had paid anti-filibuster protesters to rally outside the Legco building.