Lobby to woo students

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 January, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 January, 2010, 12:00am

Opponents of the HK$66.9 billion express rail link to Guangzhou are planning to mobilise university students ahead of Friday's delayed vote on funding. But the government is determined to put an end to the funding row before protests escalate.

The Transport and Housing Bureau has asked the legislature's Finance Committee to set aside three days for a marathon discussion - from 3pm to 11pm on Friday, and 9am to 9pm on Saturday and Sunday - until the committee reaches a conclusion.

The government's demand, which is awaiting a reply from committee chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing, came as opponents of the link planned to recruit supporters from six universities.

'We will host a series of activities outside the Legislative Council from [tomorrow], including a music concert like that at Woodstock,' protest organiser Bobo Yip Po-lam said. 'We hope youngsters will learn more about the problems of our flawed political constitution.'

However, even lawmakers opposed to the link say they may not succeed in stalling funding again this time, especially with their allies in the Democratic Party leaving them to decide on their own action.

Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan said: 'We never intended to delay the funding. We posed legitimate questions. We only have a few more questions from about two to three of our members then our questioning will end. The discussion cannot go on indefinitely.'

This is an edited version of an article published in the South China Morning Post yesterday