Under fire, Legco chief reflects on his role

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 June, 2012, 12:00am


Legislative Council president Tsang Yok-sing said yesterday he was reflecting on whether he could be a better gatekeeper against radical attempts to jeopardise the 'dignity' of the chamber.

Referring to recent filibuster attempts made by pro-democrat lawmakers to block the cabinet restructuring plan proposed by chief executive-elect Leung Chun-ying, Tsang said he had been accused of failing to prevent 'bad culture' in the law-making chamber.

'We often hear complaints that there is some bad culture in the council. Things that have happened during the past few years have been unprecedented,' he said.

'Some people have blamed me for not being a good gatekeeper and not maintaining the ... dignity of the Legislative Council.'

Tsang faces criticism from both ends of the political spectrum, with opposition lawmakers blaming him for standing by the government by hindering filibuster attempts, while pro-establishment lawmakers said he was being too lenient in allowing pan-democrats to lengthen Legco debates to block the cabinet restructuring exercise.

People's Power lawmakers argue that filibuster tactics counter an 'unjust' system, where the government is favoured by a majority of lawmakers who are not directly elected.

Under Legco rules, the president, who is a member of the pro-establishment Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, must maintain his neutrality. Regina Ip Page 16