Hong Kong leader vows further action after transport chief admits he was kept in dark on mega bridge scandal
But Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying declines to commit to more detailed tests before opening of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying promised on Tuesday to look into communication issues within the government a day after his transport minister admitted he had been kept in the dark for nearly a year about problems with a multibillion-dollar mega bridge project.
But Leung, whose five-year term will end on June 30, declined to commit to a call from engineers and lawmakers to open the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge only after detailed tests were done to ensure its safety.
At a Legislative Council transport panel meeting on Monday, Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung Bing-leung admitted he was the last to know about the falsification of concrete test results by employees of lab service contractor Jacobs China, which could compromise the structural safety of the bridge.
Officials insisted that they had since carried out non-destructive concrete strength tests on the samples and at the site, but engineers and lawmakers proposed that the government conduct more detailed non-destructive tests, even if it meant delaying the bridge’s opening.
Before the Executive Council’s weekly meeting on Tuesday, Leung said: “It is important that we have done a lot of tests on the site, and all results show that there is no problem with the concrete.
“The government attaches a great deal of importance to the bridge’s safety – this is our top priority. We also attach importance to, and will follow up on, our problems with this lab service contractor and the government’s internal problems,” he said.
On a separate topic – the recent London terror attack – Leung said: “On behalf of the Hong Kong government, I would like to express my condolences to the victims and sympathy for the injured.
“Terrorist attacks overseas remind us that we should cherish our safety. It is not to be taken for granted and we must not be caught off-guard by the possibility of terrorist attacks taking place.
“Police and other departments will do their utmost to maintain Hong Kong’s public order and safety, but we need members of society to stay alert as well.”