Voting change makes liquor board more open

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 May, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 May, 1996, 12:00am

The way that Liquor Licensing Board members vote is to be made public to resolve a row between pro-China and Democratic Party Urbco members.

The decision was made by the Urban Council's Standing Committee at a meeting yesterday. Three pro-China councillors had threatened to boycott board meetings if the problem was not resolved.

Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB) members Wen Choy-bon and Kwok Bit-chun said that they would abide by the decision.

'We'll resume our posts, because the legal adviser told us it is not against standing orders to reveal our voting decision as long as we do not disclose the matters discussed in the board meeting,' Mr Wen said.

Colleague Ip Kwok-chung, who has resigned from the board, said he would not rejoin for the time being 'for health reasons'.

Democratic Party councillor and vice-chairman of the Board Ng Wing-fai said that the decision would increase openness.

'The councillors should be under public scrutiny,' he said.

The feud erupted when DAB members accused the Democrats of 'spoiling the rules of the game' and revealing their voting preferences when granting licences.