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Legislative Council

Stop filibusters so funds for projects can be approved on time, Matthew Cheung urges Hong Kong lawmakers

Acting chief executive says workers may not be paid if approval of such funds are not made before April 1

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 March, 2017, 1:26pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 March, 2017, 7:53pm

Hong Kong’s acting chief executive Matthew Cheung Kin-chung has urged lawmakers to stop filibustering, saying the process of approving funds for thousands of public projects is far behind schedule.

Cheung, who is also the city’s chief secretary, spoke ahead of a Legislative Council finance committee meeting this Friday which would discuss funding for more than 9,000 projects. Of this figure, about 8,000 are ongoing projects.

“If the approval of funding cannot be made before April 1, workers may not be paid,” Cheung told the press before attending the Executive Council’s meeting on Tuesday morning.

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He said that in the past seven finance committee meetings, only five projects had been passed.

“There are only 11 sessions left. If lawmakers continue to filibuster, we will face grave challenges,” Cheung said, adding there were more than 20 issues, some related to social welfare, which have not been discussed by the committee separately.

The chief secretary also said that Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s new appointment on Monday as vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference was a recognition to both Leung and Hong Kong.

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“It means the central government thinks highly of Chief Executive Leung … it also attaches great importance to Hong Kong,” Cheung said.

He saw no conflict in Leung being the city’s top leader and a leading figure in national affairs, believing the chief executive could manage both duties.