Lam Woon-kwong disappointed at decision not to consider sex-bias law

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 January, 2013, 3:50am

The Executive Council convenor has expressed his disappointment at the government's refusal to launch a public consultation on outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation.

"I am disappointed, but this is the political reality - that the chief executive does not consider this a prominent problem at present," said Lam Woon-kwong, who is also the outgoing chairman of the Equal Opportunities Commission.

"I have expressed my views. The decision whether or not to do it rests ultimately with the chief executive."

Leung Chun-ying announced in his policy address on Wednesday that there would be no consultation on the matter, citing divergent views in society and other, more urgent livelihood issues.

His decision was a setback not just to the commission, but also to social groups advocating a law to criminalise discrimination against sexual minorities.

The commission on Thursday released its latest survey in which 60 per cent of respondents called for a consultation on the controversial subject.

Despite his disappointment over the issue, Lam said Leung's maiden policy address was a "brave" attempt to open up discussion on controversial topics such as standard working hours.

Meanwhile, Food and Health Bureau Secretary Dr Ko Wing-man said the government would increase funding for the accident and emergency and geriatrics departments at public hospitals to cater to the city's ageing population.

On the development of private health care services, Ko said the results of the tender exercise for two private hospitals in Wong Chuk Hang and Tai Po will soon be released.