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Legislative Council of Hong Kong

Ted Hui phone-snatch row points to a crisis of trust in Hong Kong politics

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 May, 2018, 10:48am
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 May, 2018, 10:48am

I am writing to share my opinion on the article, “Lawmakers not monitored but merely ‘observed’, Hong Kong No 2 official Matthew Cheung says amid phone-snatch row” (April 28).

Nowadays, it has become common for lawmakers to try to delay a meeting by not entering the room, so that the quorum cannot be met. Therefore, important agenda and decisions may be held up, and the meeting cannot proceed smoothly.

The government says it tried to solve this problem by having officials “observe” the movement of lawmakers to ensure that they were not leaving a meeting just to prevent a quorum.

In this case, Democratic Party lawmaker Ted Hui Chi-fung was accused of grabbing a female Security Bureau official’s phone while she was trying to marshal lawmakers into a meeting to discuss a government bill.

Hui objected to her “recording the entry and exit time of lawmakers” and called it a breach of privacy to have a civil servant monitor them.

I believe there a connection between the acts of the government and lawmakers. If lawmakers did not try to delay meetings, the government would not have to record their movements on phones. Hence, the imprudent act of Hui and the mental distress experienced by the female officer would not have occurred.

The government and lawmakers of all political persuasions should develop a relationship of trust, as that can help reduce conflict and solve a lot of problems in Hong Kong.

Theodore Tam, Tseung Kwan O