The pro-government camp has defeated a fresh attempt by the pan-democrats to launch an inquiry into unauthorised structures at Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's home and his election campaign last year.
Six pan-democratic lawmakers spoke in favour of the motion in yesterday's two-hour debate - the shortest of recent attempts in the Legislative Council to have Leung investigated and possibly ousted.
In a similar initiative on December 7, Beijing-loyalist lawmakers voted down a motion, tabled by the Labour Party's Lee Cheuk-yan, calling on Legco to investigate the government's handling of illegal structures found at Leung's homes.
Tabling yesterday's motion, Lee's party colleague Cyd Ho Sau-lan urged the pro-establishment bloc to make Leung accountable after fresh accusations were made against Leung last month by Lew Mon-hung, a former supporter of the chief executive.
Lew accused Leung of lying about asking inspectors to determine his house on Peel Rise on The Peak, had no illegal structures, and of reneging on a promise to appoint Lew to the Executive Council. Ho also wanted a committee to investigate if Leung had made any improper promises in exchange for support when he stood in the chief executive election.
Ho said: "I thought this kind of corruption could only happen on backward mainland China, but it seems this can happen in Hong Kong. I am urging the pro-establishment bloc not to turn a blind eye to graft anymore."
Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki said the legislature must launch an inquiry because Leung had repeatedly refused to come clean on Lew's accusations.
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen defended Leung, pointing to his explanations and apologies about his handling of the unauthorised structures.
"Hong Kong is facing many deeply rooted … problems," Tam said. "For these problems to be solved, the government, the legislature and the society must unite, leave meaningless arguments behind, and do practical things."