• Mon
  • Dec 29, 2014
  • Updated: 8:48am
Leung Chun-ying
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Leung Chun-ying likens Exco to jury in defending secrecy on HKTV ruling

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 November, 2013, 5:03am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 November, 2013, 5:03am

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has compared his cabinet - the Executive Council - to a jury as he again defended the controversial decision to deny Hong Kong Television Network's application for a free-to-air TV licence.

Leung faced questions yesterday from 124 residents who attended RTHK's forum programme Voices from the Hall.

The government has cited Exco's confidentiality rule and refused to explain its decision to grant free-TV licences to subsidiaries of i-Cable and PCCW, but not HKTV.

Asked whether the government would have the same response if pushed to explain any other decision, such as reviving a contentious policy such as introducing national-security legislation, Leung replied: "When [the Executive Council] publicises policy decisions, we cannot publicise our rationale, especially in decisions on commercial [matters]. It's like a jury … after a jury retires for deliberation, they tell the judge what their decision is but they don't tell the judge or the court the rationale behind it.

"As long as the system and the laws are like that, and as long as they are not changed, the Executive Council will work that way."

Speaking separately, lawmaker and former Bar Association chairman Ronny Tong Ka-wah said he was shocked by Leung's comparison.

"A jury mainly deals with the evidence in court, and it is the judge's job to reach a verdict based on legal [principles]. So Leung's analogy is not only irrelevant, but also shows his ignorance of the judicial system."

Tong added that in court, a judge was required to give detailed explanations of rulings - something he said Leung had failed to do after the licensing decision was made.

Those at the forum yesterday were invited to attend by the University of Hong Kong's public opinion programme as community representatives.

Leung was asked to consider handing out cash in his next policy speech in January, after casino-rich Macau recently announced a record handout of 9,000 patacas for each of its 570,000 permanent residents.

But Leung dismissed the idea, saying: "If the government has the finances, I think our cash should go to the needy, including low-income families and disabled people, and to encourage Hong Kong's social and economic development."

During the forum, the chief executive - whose disapproval rating has risen to 63 per cent - was also asked to step down.

Leung replied that while he valued public opinion, "polls also show that some lawmakers don't have high popularity ratings - but I wouldn't ask them to quit".

Outside RTHK, protesters scuffled with police when Scholarism activists - including Joshua Wong Chi-fung - tried unsuccessfully to hand a petition to Leung. It called for voters to be given the right to nominate chief executive candidates in 2017.

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This article is now closed to comments

dynamco
Leung should learn from his office manager Edward Yau before he puts his foot further down his mouth - take a First Class overseas trip somewhere irrelevant to his job & ignore the local problems he has created or done nothing to abate
Perhaps Leung is not aware that evidence is produced in open court which the public has right of access to .......
The ramifications of the EXCO HKTV decision mean that the gang of 16 officials versus the motley 14 unofficials will always carry the swing & then be deemed a collective decision even if all 14 motleys opposed
i.e. rubber stamp what the Govt wants to do or rather, what it is told to do by the Northern puppet master
Slippery sliding slope ...............
321manu
CY Leung seems to have forgotten the old adage: keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt. He was much better off claiming 'executive privilege' previously. People may disagree that this particular decision warrants exercise of such privilege, but at least HKers (who are accustomed to the rule of law) can agree that certain discussions have privilege attached.
But likening those council discussions to a jury is beyond stupid. Sure, a jury is sequestered and deliberates "in secret" prior to the verdict. But once the verdict is reached and presented to the court, they are no longer sworn to secrecy. Likewise, using the "jury" model, council discussions prior to the decision on awarding licenses may have justifiably been in secret, but AFTER the decision has been reached and the "verdict" announced, there is no longer a requirement or expectation of secrecy. So if he really thinks of it as being "like a jury", then there is NO REASON now for keeping the contents of deliberation secret.
petesjovall@gmail.com
If Exco is the jury, who is then the judge?
chuchu59
This is BS. Though a jury makes its decisions behind closed doors both the plaintiff and defendant present their cases in the open and their arguments are transparent to the public. Exco does not allow the public to know what the applicants had presented. Fair enough! However, the reason for refusal must be made known as the applicants were not able to show their worth openly unlike a court. The whole darn thing is shrouded in secrecy unlike the courts. Don't drag the Judiciary and jury into the scandal will ya CY?
dynamco
EXCO Rubber- stamp ersatz decision making sham
Lies damn lies & political porkies orchestrated in Hong Kong by puppet masters
Legco meetings are televised
Except in cases of national security, EXCO meetings on matters of major public interest should be televised- then we can see how the participants act
16 official members will not vote against their employer’s policies
14 unofficials could all vote against bad policy (hardly likely or they would be dumped – where else would Jeffrey get another free Cathay junket & Article 23 pusher Hitler commenting reborn Regina get any credence ) but it is pointless & outvoted, as they all then must abide by one collective decision
How daft is that ? No more than a rubber-stamp cabinet remunerated over the odds for the token services provided
So far:
Legco Functional members prostitute themselves in Legco vote on Powers + Privileges motion
Revealed:
One Exco member family related to ATV owner
CY ignores public opinion as thousands protest ‘Ricky’s daddy not a tycoon’ Govt reasoning
Communications Authority supported all 3 applicants as did several Exco unofficials
Communications Authority consultant cries foul over Govt misuse & twisting of its reports
CY ridiculed as he likens secretive EXCO to a public jury process
CY's statement re: insufficient advertising income to support 3 extra channels poo-pood by Ad Industry
Stay tuned for the next revelations .. the REAL reason CY told to veto HKTV- or rather, its backers?
whoaman
This CY is a stubborn puppy...
seanniem
Well, we want a re-trial. Throw out this jury.
caractacus
Certainly not the people of HK.
ejmciii
He really does seem to think that we are all stupid. Or perhaps he really does not care because we did not elect him and really had no say in his appointment or anointment.
webtruder@gmail.com
Who cares what CY does to mock the envied legislative procedures of Hong Kong while the reaction from the economic sanctions that will solve our biggest problems has not come yet? LOL
If some people think that reacting and taking this guy's amazingly out-of-this world antics seriously at face value will pressure the people from the Northern sky to give them what they want, they are clearly mistaken. CY doesn't think HK residents are stupid.The people from the sky KNOWS that if Hk residents react to this guy's tap-dancing,you will look stupid to observers by using your valued rights to react to this farce.
This has been a great circus for observers to see for far too long I think...

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