Carrie Lam under fire over informal briefing

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 May, 2014, 4:02am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 May, 2014, 4:02am

A pro-democracy group headed by Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's predecessor says it was "exceedingly discourteous" for Lam to brief media on results of the first reform consultation at an informal gathering.

Hong Kong 2020, led by former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang, said the government had "poured cold water" on the efforts of those determined to bring genuine democracy to Hong Kong.

"It is exceedingly discourteous to the many groups and thousands of individuals who have taken the trouble to make thoughtful and sincere proposals for changes," Chan said. "I am astonished that the government has chosen to make statements of such profound importance to the outcome of the current consultation process on political reform in the context of an informal media lunch gathering."

Chan's remarks came after Lam told the lunch meeting that the three plans put forward by the Occupy Central civil disobedience movement could "hardly" be a foundation for reform as all of them proposed the public have the right to nominate candidates.

Hong Kong 2020 is pushing for a plan that broadens the mandate of the nominating committee but does not include public nomination. The three proposals shortlisted by the movement come from Scholarism, People Power and the Alliance for True Democracy, comprising 26 out of 27 pan-democratic lawmakers.

Chan demanded Lam clarify the government's stance. "A formal reply is needed, but not at an informal media gathering."

Meanwhile, People Power expressed its "regret" over the Democratic Party's "one-way" remarks on Thursday that the alliance should be dissolved after Occupy Central's referendum on the three proposals, to be held from June 20 to 22. Alliance convenor Professor Joseph Cheng Yu-shek said he believed there was "still room for cooperation".