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Radical legislators threaten to block approval of HK$100m for quake aid

Radical pan-democrats threaten to block approval in use of HK$100 million

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 April, 2013, 6:17pm

A fierce debate is expected in the Legislative Council today over the use of a HK$100 million donation to help Sichuan earthquake victims, with radical pan-democrats threatening to block approval with a filibuster.

Some people fear that the donation, proposed by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, could fall into the hands of corrupt mainland officials.

Last night, major parties in the pro-democracy camp said they would oppose any suggestions of government-to-government donations in a special Finance Committee meeting. People Power lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip said the party would not rule out launching another filibuster to block its passage.

Leading parties in the pro-establishment camp vowed to support the funding application.

Video: The Post takes to the streets to ask Hongkongers whether they think the government should donate money to the Sichuan aid effort

A government paper presented to Legco last night says a sum of HK$100 million will be injected into the Disaster Relief Fund, and the same amount will be donated directly to the Sichuan provincial government. Non-government relief organisations could also apply to the fund.

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who chairs the fund's advisory committee, said there were precedents for Hong Kong to provide emergency relief to the mainland due to blood links between the people.

The disaster [in Sichuan] involves more than a million victims. Given that we are making donations to show our concern, we cannot make special requests
Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor

"The disaster [in Sichuan] involves more than a million victims. Given that we are making donations to show our concern, we cannot make special requests [in the use of the funds] but the provincial government has to inform us afterwards how the money has been used," Lam said.

Leung said the emergency relief would show the city's support for mainland compatriots, adding the government would monitor the use of funds.

Professional Teachers' Union internal affairs vice-president Cheung Man-kwong said the executive committee would not pass donations to mainland authorities or government-affiliated groups like the Red Cross Society of China. Instead they would probably pass on the cash to credible NGOs like the Salvation Army, Medecins Sans Frontieres and Unicef.



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This article is now closed to comments

Carrie Lam making the statement “we cannot make special requests [in the use of the funds] but the provincial government has to inform us afterwards how the money has been used” is absolutely ridiculous. Surely the HK people should have a say on how the public money is going to be spent. It is like giving money to a school principal for improving education but letting the school principal spend the money in any way he/she wants and then say to the school principal, please inform afterwards us on how the money has been used. Carrie Lam, in her capacity as a high ranking Hong Kong Government official, is simply kowtowing to the Chinese Government. It is no wonder that corruption is so rife in Chinese society. The first step to eradicating corruption is transparency and accountability. What hope does Hong Kong have under the current CY Leung government administration? I am so disappointed in Carrie Lam.
hard times !
only those radical lawmakers are attempting to block the huge sum of HK$100 million to aid the victims of Sichuan province in the recent earthquake ? Of course not ! All democratic camp lawmakers and their supporters (accounting for 60% of voters in town) also disagree to the proposal of the Leung administration to donate our tax-payers' money to this disaster. Why ? All donations have to pass through the governments on Mainland and it is estimated every HK$ 10 dollars donated,if just HK1 dollar can reach the victims, it is considered very fortunate ! Donations by money can only enrich the pockets of the corrupted officials who are too eager to await any natural disasters so as to get richer and richer by being cadre officials of any regions hit by natural disasters ! Right ?
I cannot imagine that people will allow politics will to get in the way of helping people in desperate need. Instead of saying to stop the aid we can send HK people to China to ensure it is used properly. A team of 4 HK observers is all that is needed. Instead of just saying no to everything why don't people ask for oversight and say yes. Lets not have dead people on our conscious.
hard times !
'blood links between Hongkongese and our compatriots on Mainland' but never our link or relationship with those over-greedy and shameless corrupted cadre officials who would take advantage of every chance to grab porfits for themselves.
The fact that they are threatening to the stop the bill through filibustering rather than working coorperatively to find a win-win situation reflects a party which clings unbearably to a radical methodology ultimately hurting its own image as the people's party. So much so, that their actions can sometimes discredit and taint the very altruistic and noble democratic values they stand for.
So, does it mean that these pandems would not all the HK Government to donate a single cent to the mainland as long as there's corruption? By the same token, can we insist that we do not even consider adopting their brand of "democracy" until every voter is literate and understands what democracy means?
can someone just explain to me why China needs to money? it is turning down aid from Japan. sounds like they don't need outside help since face is more important. Last I checked, China had ample government funds. so what is the financial rationale for us to give the commies money?
You are right, George Bush should have been impeached when he sent into China two U.S. Air Force C-17's carrying supplies in the wake of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake
you think when north korea gets aid MONEY IS SENT? of course not
so dont send money
Dai Muff
If it seems likely that some 90% of Hong Kong people do not want the government to send cash, which party represents the people? Maybe ALL legislators should just represent their constituents.



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