People Power duo spy new filibuster option

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 July, 2014, 4:02am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 July, 2014, 4:02am

People Power's two lawmakers said yesterday that they planned to join more Legislative Council committees so they could step up attempts to filibuster controversial bills and government funding applications.

Raymond Chan Chi-chuen and Albert Chan Wai-yip said they intended to join the establishment and public works subcommittees under Legco's Finance Committee to give them more opportunities to practise the delaying tactic. They intend to sign up for the subcommittees when Legco's summer recess ends in October.

"We will join these subcommittees and we invite all progressive pan-democrats to do the same," Raymond Chan said, adding that he hoped League of Social Democrats chairman "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung and Gary Fan Kwok-wai of the NeoDemocrats would join them.

The pair, often with Leung and Fan, have attempted to filibuster several government funding requests in recent months, including for a waste incinerator and for preliminary work on two new towns in the northeastern New Territories.

Joining the subcommittees would, they said, let them fight applications earlier in the process rather than waiting for the last stage - the Finance Committee.

But Albert Chan said: "We will not abuse filibustering. We will let pass bills and proposals that are good for people's livelihood."

Meanwhile, Raymond Chan said they would explore the idea of a "mobile" version of the Occupy Central civil disobedience protest if the government failed to come up with an acceptable plan for democratic reform soon.

The idea, floated online, would see activists gather for brief protests on pavements and at MTR station exits, as an alternative for those who did not want to risk arrest by joining Occupy's plan to block streets in Central.

"This may attract those who do not want to occupy the roads and be arrested," Chan said. "But we also know this might affect the determination of real Occupy protesters, so we'll still have to think about it."