Pan-democrats set to veto motion of thanks for maiden policy address

They say the chief executive's policy address lacked credibility, vision and initiatives

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 January, 2013, 4:09am

Pan-democrats say they will veto a motion of thanks in the legislature for Leung Chun-ying's policy address - and will send a stronger message in a protest march organised with concern groups for Sunday.

Lawmakers from the Labour Party, Democratic Party, Civic Party, Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood and the League of Social Democrats have all vowed to veto the motion on January 30 in the Legislative Council to thank the chief executive for his maiden speech last week.

Labour Party chairman Lee Cheuk-yan, legislator for New Territories West, said he felt "cheated" by the policy address.

"Leung didn't even touch on the issues that concern us - including legislation on standard working hours, the consultation on sexual orientation discrimination, and an annual review of the minimum wage. All we got was rhetoric."

Democratic Party vice-chairman Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong said the party would veto the motion because Leung had failed to honour his election promises. "Leung's speech lacked credibility, vision and policy initiatives. He did not address all the issues laid out in his election platform - including long-term housing, retirement protection and constitutional reform. Instead we got delaying tactics to distract the public, like setting up dozens of committees," Tsoi said.

If the veto goes ahead, it will be the ninth time since the handover in 1997 that lawmakers have refused to thank the chief executive for his policy address.

Under the split voting system that requires a majority in both the functional and geographical constituencies, the motion of thanks is unlikely to be passed in the geographical group where 18 out of 35 directly elected lawmakers are pan-democrats.

Meanwhile, a march has been organised for Sunday by the five pan-democrat parties and 11 concern groups calling for "no cheating" on policies. The organisers told police that 5,000 protesters would march from East Point Road in Causeway Bay to Tamar, Admiralty, at 3pm.

Icarus Wong Ho-yin, one of the organisers, said Leung deserved a zero for the policy address. "We are extremely dissatisfied with Leung's performance. "

Law Pui-shan, a policy research officer with the Catholic Commission for Labour Affairs, criticised the chief executive for confining the paternity leave policy to the public sector and leaving out the private sector.