• Thu
  • Jul 24, 2014
  • Updated: 1:41am
NewsHong Kong

Legco bid for HKTV licence probe defeated

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 November, 2013, 5:58pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 November, 2013, 8:36pm

The motion to invoke special powers to investigate the HKTV licence saga was defeated in the Legislative Council late Thursday afternoon following two days of debate.

The motion, raised by information technology sector lawmaker Charles Mok, was passed by directly-elected lawmakers in the geographical constituencies, but was rejected by legislators representing functional constituencies.

For a lawmaker’s motion to pass, it has to pass in both constituencies.

The government probably feels that public opinion [for an investigation] is not strong enough yet. We will step up our campaign
Yeung Chi-ho, HKTV staff union

The debate resumed earlier on Thursday after legislators spent hours discussing Mok’s motion until late on Wednesday night.

On Wednesday night thousands of protesters demonstrated their support for an investigation.

On Thursday, hundreds of protesters, HKTV staff and supporters, protested outside the Legco building at the government headquarters complex to voice support for Mok’s proposal.

Mok had attempted to invoke special powers to look into why the government rejected Hong Kong Television Network’s application for a free-to-air TV licence, while approving the applications from iCable's Fantastic Television and PCCW's Hong Kong Television Entertainment Company.

Mok had wanted to exercise powers under the Legislative Council’s powers and privileges ordinance to force the government to produce all papers, books, records or documents involved in the vetting and approval of TV licence applications.

HKTV staff union leader Yeung Chi-ho said Thursday’s defeat did not mean their campaign to press the government to fully explain on its licence vetting process was over.

"The government probably feels that public opinion [for an investigation] is not strong enough yet. We will step up our campaign," he said, adding that the union would study what action to take next.

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So Kam-leung said on Thursday the government had already fully explained the rationale behind its decision to rejection HKTV’s application.

 

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This article is now closed to comments

lbsaw
The outcome of the LEGCO vote reflects the members that are on the government's side that will always vote in the government's favour irrespective of how the government has erred in its action. It should be a good awakening for the public to see the true faces of Regina Ip, Michael Tien and Paul Tse, amongst the others that took the side of the government. The ground of not setting a precedent that will allow EXCO's actions to be questioned or challenged in the future is indeed a lame excuse and is presenting to Hongkongers that whether EXCO's decisions are right or wrong, they are sacred and cannot be challenged. The failure to make EXCO accountable for its actions is indeed a very bad precedent especially given the highly questionable reasons for their decision. I followed the live broadcast of the LEGCO debate for over 12 hours and heard the points made by the respective members. It was obvious, from what is publicly known so far, that the handling leading to the decision by EXCO on the issue of a TV license to HKTV has been a travesty of governance, and the arrogance of Greg So in providing groundless reasons makes a mockery of the matter. In short, do the government and all these government backers in LEGCO think the Hongkong public is that retarded to accept their explanation. This lack of wisdom by continuing to withhold the truth from the public may probably be the "tipping point" in having an ungovernable administration.
tfung
Wow... who watches TV anymore anyways? Completely a waste of resources to even debate and talk about a dying medium...
impala
And there it is - the official confirmation that our sorry excuse of a parliament is really nothing but a toothless congregation of rubber stamps.

This was merely about mounting an investigation about an issue that has obviously led to an enormous public outcry and about which all sorts of very valid questions have arisen.

It wasn't about passing judgement on the government. It wasn't about establishing that wrong had been done, let alone finding anybody to blame for it.

It was only about using investigative powers that belong to the legislature to get to the bottom of a potentially rotten government decision.

Nothing might have come out of it. The investigation might well have shown that the government acted flawlessly, and that would have actually bolstered the Chief Nitwit's legitmacy with the public (which he completely lacks at the moment).

But even just mounting an investigation was too much ask.

LegCo has demonstrated that in its current set-up it is utterly useless.
caractacus
Exco members have revealed part of the reasons anyway, but the government's inept handling of this situation puts it in the realm of farce.
 
 
 
 
 

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