• Thu
  • Oct 30, 2014
  • Updated: 12:33am
Yaan earthquake
NewsHong Kong

Legco approves HK$100m Sichuan quake donation

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 May, 2013, 5:41pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 04 May, 2013, 11:05am

The legislature approved a controversial HK$100 million government donation to official Sichuan earthquake relief efforts yesterday, despite earlier worries over a possible filibuster.

In a 37-23 vote, with pan-democrat Dr Joseph Lee Kok-long abstaining and with the support of pro-establishment lawmakers, the proposal was approved by the Legislative Council Finance Committee after an almost two-hour debate.

The debate resumed yesterday after discussions last week failed to reach a vote.

All 14 motions put forward by the pan-democratic camp, including some asking the government to donate the money to Hong Kong-registered non-government agencies and to report back to the committee on how the donation had been used, were voted down.

Some pan-democrats had wanted to block the donation, which is to be made directly to the Sichuan government, for fear the money would end up in the pockets of corrupt mainland officials. They urged that funding be directed to relief groups or victims.

We only leave the victims to suffer if we do not donate the money
Legco member Priscilla Leung Mei-fun

People Power lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip had earlier warned that his party might put forth dozens more motions to delay the voting, but it dropped the plan yesterday.

Fellow legislator Wong Yuk-man said he "could have proposed 150 motions to delay the vote" but did not because he wanted to save his efforts for the budget debate. Wong is one of four legislators who have filibustered to delay passage of the government's budget.

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor had urged legislators not to delay the vote on relief, stressing the urgency of providing the aid to the victims of the earthquake in Yaan, which killed almost 200 people and injured thousands.

Pro-government legislator Priscilla Leung Mei-fun accused opposition legislators of politicising the donation issue.

"We only leave the victims to suffer if we do not donate the money," she said.


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This article is now closed to comments

Is there any accountability as to where to money goes?
New cars anyone?
I am not trying to discourage assistance for the quake victims. However, handing over the money to the local Sichuan governments is a serious cause for concern. Will the money reach the victims or will the money end up in some unscrupulous officials' pockets? Is the Legco encouraging graft in Mainland China?
The SAR government should instead learn why some rich countries are only willing to give tens of thousands of US dollars only.
China is rich enough to rebuild the quake-stricken areas on its own and instead, the donated money can also be used to assist the poor people of Hong Kong, where it has better control over the accountability over how the money is used.
Finally the Hong Kong government does the right thing to help those in need. Hopefully it is spent wisely.
Sad day
We just funded a bunch of expensize banquets, moutai wine and a bunch of other luxury goodies to the mainland officials.............this is how HK's government has become towards the mainland...........But Oh,.......isn't that how our own ICAC uses public funds too?...............Guess we can't blame the mainland officials after all.............Ha ha.......
thank you
hard times !
Now that Hong Kong people have totally donated about HK$ 300 millions (including HK$172 millions through the Liaison Office) to the relief fund for the victims of Ya'an earthquake to show our passion and love towards our countrymen/compatriots.By the donation,both our chief executive and chief secretary can fully demonstrate their loyalty towards the ruling regime in Beijing.The delay of the donation has been bombasted by Mainland media these days and our pan-democrats were even labelled as not patriotic enough ! We hope that all these funds will be properly used and not a cent of it will fall into the pockets of corrupted cadres or their friends in business sectors !


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