Legco uproar as Tsang stays mum on Liu

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 October, 2010, 12:00am

Confronted by hostile lawmakers, Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen yesterday refused to discuss Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo .

But he again spoke at length in defence of Executive Council member Lau Wong-fat, who has been accused of breaching government rules on the declaration of interests.

His reactions prompted a rowdy exchange at the question-and-answer session, with three lawmakers forced out by security guards.

'Liu Xiaobo has won the Nobel Peace Prize but the Chinese Communist Party not only puts pressure on him in jail, his wife is suffering because of it too,' Leung Kwok-hung, of the League of Social Democrats, said. 'Say a fair word for the people of Hong Kong.'

After Tsang declared he had no comment to make, Leung said: 'Where is your conscience? I have never seen any leaders overseas make no comment in parliament.'

Leung shouted and tried to hit Tsang with a cardboard clock before being escorted out by security staff.

Tanya Chan, of the Civic Party, then quizzed Tsang on how Lau breached Exco rules by repeatedly failing to declare property ownership and transactions. Tsang's lengthy response prompted uproar from the remaining two League members.

'Of course, you have no conscience,' Albert Chan Wai-yip shouted. 'You are shameless in the face of all Chinese. How can you keep silent on Liu Xiaobo while talking so much about Lau Wong-fat?'

After more shouts of 'shame', Chan and Wong Yuk-man were also escorted from the chamber.

During the Democratic Party's anniversary dinner last week, Tsang ignored questions from the media on Liu two hours after it was announced that the activist had been awarded the Peace Prize.

Also at yesterday's session, Tsang was accused by Civic Party lawmakers Ronny Tong Ka-wah and Alan Leong Kah-kit of failing to fulfil his election promise to resolve the question of universal suffrage.

Tsang said the 2012 reform package that was passed in June laid the foundations for implementing universal suffrage for the chief executive and Legco elections in 2017 and 2020, respectively. The government lacks 'conditions' to iron out the details for the ultimate goal, Tsang said.