'Lack of interest' holding up bills | South China Morning Post
  • Mon
  • Jan 26, 2015
  • Updated: 4:45pm

'Lack of interest' holding up bills

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 May, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 May, 1997, 12:00am

The unwillingness of legislators to join the bills committees has been blamed for the slow passage of bills before the handover.


Figures from Legco Secretariat show 60 bills have been passed in the current session. But there are still 91 bills waiting to be passed before the handover.


And 30 pieces of legislation are waiting for a bills committee to be formed.


All 19 bills committees are presently operating. Three months ago there were 15.


Justina Lam, Legco's assistant secretary-general, said more bills would be presented because an April deadline to submit them had been cancelled.


'It is the right of the Government and legislators to table their bills, but we have an agreement that only those very urgent or indispensable should be submitted,' she said.


Unionist Lee Cheuk-yan complained about some of his colleagues' working attitudes.


'Only a few of us will join the bills committees and we always have the problem of time clashes,' he said.


Mr Lee, who sits on five bills committees, said the only way to avoid clashes was to postpone the bills committees to ensure members were free to come.


'I feel that most of our colleagues have given up Legco. In the past, we may only need one or two weeks to finish scrutinising one bill, but we need more time now,' he said.


On Thursday, two bills committees and one sub-committee were cancelled.


The administration failed to submit documents to legislators on the Jury (Amendment) bill committee, while a sub-committee on Prison (Amendment) Rules 1996 was also rescheduled after members failed to turn up.


Bruce Liu Sing-lee of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood, who sits on eight bills committees, has signed up to examine another 10 bills.


But he was not confident all the bills tabled could be passed before the handover.


'I am just trying to do my best, but I don't think all the bills can be passed because there are not many people working.'

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