Councillor riled after meeting lockout

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 September, 2013, 5:22am

Sai Kung district councillor Christine Fong Kwok-shan says she will complain to the Ombudsman after being locked out of a district council meeting with environment minister Wong Kam-sing.

It was a closed-door meeting yesterday, but about 20 local residents insisted they had the right to attend. Fong and the residents staged a sit-in outside the meeting room after being refused entry. They chanted slogans calling on Wong to step down and for the closure of the landfill in Tseung Kwan O.

The meeting came after the government withdrew a plan to expand the landfill amid strong opposition to the proposal. But council chairman George Ng Sze-fuk said the meeting was less about the expansion plan than it was about the city's overall waste management blueprint.

Ng said he did not let Fong, an elected member of the council, into the meeting even after she promised she would not bring any residents with her, because "sometimes Fong does not keep her promises".

He said he was unsure whether he had the power to refuse admission to a council member.

"I will be responsible for my own decision," he said.

But he said his decision was supported by other members of the council, and that he was the one who decided the meeting would not be open to members of the public.

Cheung Kwok-keung and Chung Kam-lun of the NeoDemocrats and Raymond Ho Man-kit of Momentum 107 said they had told the chairman that Fong should be allowed to attend the meeting, but did not pursue the matter further when Ng decided she should be locked out because they wanted to have more time to talk to Wong.

They criticised Wong, accusing him of repeating what had already been said about the landfill and about waste policy in general but not making firm promises in the meeting.

Wong was escorted by nearly 100 policemen when he left.

Dozens of residents had protested outside the building before Wong arrived. They said the government was incapable of managing landfills properly, citing a liquid waste leak at Ta Kwu Ling landfill as an example.



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