Andrew Wong vows to uphold neutral role

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 January, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 January, 1997, 12:00am

Embattled Legislative Council President Andrew Wong Wang-fat last night vowed to uphold the neutral role of his post by not commenting or voting on major issues tabled in the provisional legislature.

Under pressure from some Legislative Councillors for his membership of the handover legislature, Mr Wong denied trying to hide behind the President's 'cloak of impartiality'.

'To be seen to be totally impartial, the President has to effectively silence himself on all matters political,' he said.

Instead, he would limit himself to commenting on 'housekeeping' matters, such as the interim body's procedures, committee structure and management of its secretariat.

Mr Wong's remarks came a few days after his failed bid to also become president of the provisional legislature.

His unsuccessful bid had prompted him to clarify his future role in both legislatures, he said.

'The political reality is that the provisional council is going to be an important branch of government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region,' he said.

'If I am going to continue to serve the people of Hong Kong through its institutions, I must be willing to share my knowledge and experience in legislative procedures with incoming members.' But Democratic Party legislator Cheung Man-kwong said Mr Wong was adopting 'an ostrich' approach.

'He has tried to avoid facing the question of his failing to honour his word that he would not run for the provisional legislature,' he said. 'His mere attendance in the provisional legislature is already an insult to the incumbent Legislative Council.' At tomorrow's Legco sitting, Elizabeth Wong Chien Chi-lien will move a motion debate urging the Government to denounce Mr Wong if he does not resign.