Leung Chun-ying

CY should work on ties with Legco, say Beijing loyalists

Beijing loyalists blame recent disputes on the government's lack of communication

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 July, 2013, 6:34am

Two prominent Beijing-loyalist politicians pointed to disputes over landfills and an elderly allowance as examples of the Leung Chun-ying government's failure to build good working ties with the Legislative Council.

Former Legco president Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai suggested officials had not communicated well with lawmakers before tabling Legco's landfill extension plans.

Lawmakers could be made to feel they can ring up an official and raise a concern, and the official would value it and respond proactively

Separately, House Committee chairman Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen said the ties did not get off to "a good start" after the chief executive took office.

Fan, a member of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, was speaking on Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing's online talk show on Our TV yesterday.

Asked whether the landfill row highlighted a deteriorating relationship between the executive branch and the legislature, she said: "To communicate is not to wait until an issue is put on the agenda before you talk about it; it is to discuss it much earlier.

"For example, lawmakers could be made to feel they can ring up an official and raise a concern, and the official would value it and respond proactively. A problem can be solved gradually with [more] communication."

Andrew Leung, in concluding his committee's work in the past year, also criticised the government for not giving lawmakers ample time for consultation and discussion on proposed policies.

Citing the Old Age Living Allowance, he said lawmakers had only two weeks before they were originally scheduled to vote on the plan. After that initial dispute, "we still do not see any improvement", he said.

Inadequate time for consultation led to much dissatisfaction among lawmakers, and in turn prompted long hours of filibustering, Leung added.

Fan also urged lawmakers to improve their ties with the central government's liaison office.

On Tuesday, Beijing's top official in Hong Kong, Zhang Xiaoming , will attend an unprecedented lunch in Legco.

The event will mark the first time since the handover that the liaison office is sitting down with lawmakers from across the political spectrum.

"I hope pan-democrats make the best use of this opportunity … to build a good foundation for future exchanges. It is a chance not to be wasted," Fan said. She declined to speculate whether universal suffrage would come up as a focus of discussion.

Former NPC Standing Committee member Tsang Hin-chi said he was confident the chief executive election under universal suffrage would proceed smoothly.