New lawmakers must try to put Legco back on a positive path

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 September, 2016, 5:16pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 September, 2016, 11:21pm

A record turnout of about 2.2 million voters at the Legislative Council election is significant.

Not only was it a way for the public to show that it has grievances against the government, but voters also made it clear that they felt they had been let down by some councillors who had not made a constructive contribution in Legco. I believe the public has had enough of some of their delaying tactics.

Citizens want reassurances that during the new Legco term there will no paralysis of proceedings. They expect the people they elected to show commitment and do their duty.

The last term was the worst of times for Legco, with at least 500 head counts. Since 2012, some 200 hours have been wasted as a result of individual lawmakers’ efforts to thwart the business on the agenda.

Council meetings were adjourned because of insufficient members present and some bills were delayed and aborted. The bickering and resultant scrapping of the bill to reform the Medical Council is a telling example.

If the numbers are any guide, Hong Kong must brace itself for a new wave of filibustering which may plunge the legislature into a dysfunctional state at the cost of livelihood matters affecting everyone.

The rise of radicals and the politically charged sentiment in society do not bode well for the healthy development of Legco.

With eight out of 70 seats taken by localists and radicals, the legislature is represented by a wider cross-section of society. It would be worrying if they see themselves as having a public mandate to go their own way in the legislature.

Legco has been hijacked by some to advance their political agenda and score points with voters.

Anyone with some common sense should know Legco is a place for policy making and discussion, not street protests. Lawmakers who do not seek to reverse the negative trends are sure to let their voters down. When the legislature is bogged down with bickering and violence, what good does it do us? So the first task for the newly elected legislators is to show us how they can put the legislature back on a positive path.

We want to hear their proposals for amending the procedural rules to enhance operational efficiency.

More importantly, we need guarantees they will not engage in politicking, but will get involved in the real business of the legislature.

Borromeo Li Ka-kit, Happy Valley