Leung Chun-ying

CY Leung is first Hong Kong chief executive without thanks motion approved for any policy addresses

Pan-democrats, blaming the city’s leader for the current social and political divide, voted down the proposal

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 February, 2017, 7:39pm
UPDATED : Friday, 17 February, 2017, 11:14pm

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has become the city’s first leader since the 1997 handover to fail to receive any recognition from lawmakers for his policy addresses, after the Legislative Council voted down a traditional motion of thanks for his fifth and final blueprint.

Concluding a three-day marathon debate, lawmakers from rival camps crossed swords over whether Leung was to blame for the city’s social and political divide.

Civic Party leader Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu said Friday’s verdict where seven police officers were jailed for assaulting Occupy activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu highlighted the “serious polarisation” in Hong Kong since Leung won the top post five years ago.

He also said: “Leung’s supporters were appointed to important positions in official bodies … and it destroyed the people’s trust in the government.”

Referring to the city’s leadership race, he added: “I hope the new chief executive will have the wisdom and heart to resolve conflicts. His or her supporters should also look beyond their own political interests.”

Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai added: “Leung has caused a serious divide in Hong Kong. The new government will need the united support of the people.

“This is not only the pan-democratic camp’s wish, but also Beijing’s. That’s why Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office director Wang Guangya said the next chief executive requires the central government’s trust, the ability to govern, as well as the support of Hong Kong’s people.”

But Gary Chan Hak-kan, vice-chairman of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said the pan-democrats and Legco were also to blame for the city’s woes.

“Recently, residents have witnessed a lot of pro-independence and radical activities in the city which challenged the baseline of the rule of law … were the opposition lawmakers confusing what is right and wrong when they made accusations against the government?” Chan questioned.

The motion of thanks could only be passed with a majority of support from lawmakers in both the functional and geographical constituencies in Legco.

The pro-establishment camp, which dominated the functional group, forced a majority vote of 22 to 11 in support of the thanks proposal. In the geographical group however, pan-democrats had a 17 to 16 margin of advantage over their rivals in headcount, and eventually voted down the motion by 17 to 14.

The motion of thanks is legally non-binding and has no effect on the implementation of policy proposals.

Of seven policy addresses by Leung’s predecessor Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, Legco approved the motion of thanks for two.

The city’s first chief executive Tung Chee-hwa received approval of the motion for three of his eight annual blueprints.