Legislator Albert Chan Wai-yip vows to stall filibuster ban

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 October, 2012, 4:02am

Radical lawmakers have vowed to table a series of amendments at a meeting of the Legislative Council finance committee tomorrow to stall Beijing loyalists' attempt at banning filibusters.

People Power legislator Albert Chan Wai-yip warned yesterday of using the tactic to derail an attempt by Ip Kwok-him, from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, to seek an amendment to the committee's procedures.

Ip wants to ban lawmakers from tabling more than one motion on a single funding proposal.

Chan urged other pan-democratic lawmakers to move amendments to Ip's proposal. He estimated that if more than 20 lawmakers helped, it would take the committee weeks to finish debating the amendments.

"We will seek to exempt the restriction from situations such as proposals that cost more than HK$100 million, and those that involve the Chief Executive's Office," Chan said. "We don't have a target for how many amendments we will table."

He denied that People Power was trying to filibuster again.

"We just want to have more chances to discuss a reasonable mechanism for halting filibusters. Ip's proposal is too harsh, and even dictatorial; it will take away lawmakers' right to speak."

He also denied trying to delay the government's proposal to increase an allowance for elderly poor people to HK$2,200 a month, due to be scrutinised next week. If the committee fails to deal with all amendments to Ip's proposal tomorrow, it will be taken up at the next meeting.

The Labour Party and the Democratic Party said they had not received any invitation from People Power to take part.

The new finance committee chairman, Beijing loyalist Tommy Cheung Yu-yan, promised to allow his colleagues sufficient time to speak during meetings.

He said he would try to ensure efficient proceedings, while pledging to be fair and impartial. "You will see whether I am fair on Friday."

He is considering lengthening the two-hour session tomorrow to four hours.