Leung Chun-ying

Legco turns down proposal for inquiry into CY illegal structures

The motion to invoke council's powers to look into illegal structures at C.Y. Leung's home has been defeated after six hours of debate

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 December, 2012, 10:32am

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying survived yet another challenge over his illegal structures after the legislature last night voted down a proposal to launch a special inquiry.

A resolution to invoke the Legislative Council's Powers and Privileges Ordinance was defeated 9-23 in the functional constituencies and tied 15-15 among directly elected lawmakers after six hours of debate. Passage required majority support in both groups.

Three pan-democrats were absent from the vote proposed by Labour Party chairman Lee Cheuk-yan. They were Leung Yiu-chung, of the Neighbourhood and Worker's Service Centre, the Civic Party's Kenneth Chan Ka-lok and People Power's Wong Yuk-man .

It was the pan-democrats' second attempt in two weeks to get Leung out of the top job. A vote of no confidence was vetoed in a similar fashion last week. Preparations for an impeachment are expected to conclude this month.

Lee said there were at least 11 unanswered questions in the controversy over the structures at Leung's homes, including whether any senior officials had attempted to pressure the Buildings Department.

"We have the responsibility to give people a full picture of what had happened," he said.

Civic Party lawmaker Ronny Tong Ka-wah said an inquiry could clear the names of the department officers who were criticised for treating the cases of Leung and rival Henry Tang Ying-yen - found to have a huge illegal basement - differently.

Fellow Civic Party lawmaker Dr Kwok Ka-ki said they "had no choice to get the truth except to launch an inquiry".

But pro-establishment lawmakers distanced themselves from the idea, including those who took a soft stance in the motion of no confidence last week.

Liberal Party lawmaker James Tien Pei-chun said it was clear that Leung "had cheated" to win support from the public and the central government in the run-up to the chief executive election.

"We are 90 per cent - if not 100 per cent - sure that Leung has an integrity problem. It does not require an inquiry to prove that he is guilty," he said.

Independent Paul Tse Wai-chun said it was not worth holding an inquiry to find out what they already knew. "Leung has become a human recorder who will only repeat his answer."

Beijing loyalist Martin Liao Cheung-kong said Leung had paid the political price. "Integrity is a subjective moral judgment to which we cannot find an answer in an inquiry."

Acting Chief Secretary Tsang Tak-sing said it was unfair to accuse the department of shielding Leung. "Such criticisms have no basis and lack respect for our civil servants."