Legco ties with administration 'may worsen'
Tanna Chong and Tony Cheung
The relationship between the administration and the legislature has deteriorated and could get worse still, the Legislative Council's house committee has warned.
Summing up Legco's four-year term, which ended yesterday, committee chairwoman Miriam Lau Kin-yee said the unresolved scandal over illegal structures at the home of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying threatened to further sour ties. It came on the back of a row surrounding former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's dealings with tycoons.
'As lawmakers sought impeachment and a motion of no confidence against Tsang, it was hard for us and the administration to get closer,' said Lau, who is also chairwoman of the Liberal Party. 'I hope this is the trough ... but some colleagues could be readying actions against Leung for the illegal structures.'
The vice-chairman of the house committee, Fred Li Wah-ming, also expressed concern, saying there was no such thing as 'the worst', only 'even worse' for relations with the administration.
Lau commented on the three chief secretaries they had dealt with in the committee's weekly meetings with the administration.
'Although we have only had two meetings so far, we have a good relationship with Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor,' said Lau.
'Stephen Lam Sui-lung displayed sincerity in resolving problems with us.
'But all our meetings with Henry Tang Ying-yen were very brief. We were like a message recorder responsible for relaying the government's messages.'
Lau said that with Tang's attitude 'it was hard to improve the relationship between us and the government'.
Tang resigned last September to launch what would be an unsuccessful campaign to become the chief executive, while Stephen Lam passed the job to Carrie Lam when Leung's administration took office.
Lau said the next Legislative Council could consider changing the rules of procedures to curb filibusters. Leung's government restructuring proposal failed to pass yesterday owing to filibustering by the three radical pan-democratic lawmakers from People Power and the League of Social Democrats.
The chairwoman of Legco's finance committee, Emily Lau Wai-hing, said she hoped the administration had learned a lesson from the failure to get the revamp proposal through Legco. 'If they want to submit [the restructuring] proposal and other proposals to the finance committee in the next term, I hope they will do the homework well, and make sure they have reached a consensus with the community and in the council,' Emily Lau said.