A meeting of lawmakers about the government’s planned technology bureau on Monday morning vetoed without discussion almost all of the motions tabled by a pan-democrat legislator opposed to the project.
Other motions put forward by “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung of the League of Social Democrats were rejected outright by the meeting’s chairwoman, Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee of the New People’s Party, because they “could not be understood”.
The wording of the rejected motions was not released.
Ip said that “according to Legislative Council procedures” there was no need for the council’s establishment subcommittee to discuss the 86 of 105 motions tabled by Leung that Ip accepted.
Ip did not specify which procedures she was referring to.
WATCH: Up close and personal with Long Hair
Leung’s attempted filibuster comes less than a week after his and other pan-democrats’ marathon protest over the budget bill ended.
One of the motions suggested that the head of the proposed technology bureau should hand over any shares in IT companies to a trustee, in order to avoid conflicts of interest. Another suggested that the head of the bureau should not be allowed to have business interests related to the real estate industry, again to avoid conflict of interest.
Leung also suggested that the bureau submit a long-term planning proposal to Legco one year after its establishment.
Other motions proposed ensuring that all students have government-subsidised computers before setting up the bureau, and conducting a study of the IT sector in Taiwan and Korea.
“All of the motions I have put forward were reasonable,” said Leung, who has criticised the lack of consultation on the project and its expense.
Lawmakers spent one minute voting for or against each motion without discussing any of them.
By the time the two-hour meeting ended at 10.30am, 79 of the 86 motions had been vetoed. But Leung has threatened to submit new motions, with 44 already prepared.
The government wants lawmakers to approve HK$30 million in funding for the bureau. Legislators from across the political spectrum have criticised its proposed structure.
“[Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying] suggested setting up this bureau two years ago. But he has not done any consultation since then,” Leung said.
The chief executive’s plan to set up the bureau was shelved two years ago after a filibuster.
On Monday, Federation of Trade Unions lawmaker Wong Kwok-kin urged chairwoman Ip to set a deadline for discussion of Leung’s new motions, adding that the meetings cannot last forever.
Ip did not respond.
Lawmaker Wong Ting-kwong of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong said: “The meeting was paralysed. We have done nothing in these two hours. This is catastrophic.”
Last week, the marathon budget debate finally came to an end after 130 hours.
The budget bill was passed by a vote of 36 to 3, with one abstention, after the last of the 1,192 amendments – mainly put forward by three pan-democrat lawmakers – was voted down.
The three – Leung of the League of Social Democrats, and Albert Chan Wai-yip and Raymond Chan Chi-chuen of People Power – had called for the government to establish a universal pension scheme and provide cash handouts for Hongkongers, among other demands.