Pan-democrats lost credibility by staying silent during filibuster

Pan-democrat lawmakers speak to media in Tamar after Legislative Council President Jasper Tsang Yok-sing announced the end of the filibuster tactics by lawmakers Wong Yuk-man, Leung Kwok-hung and Chan Wai-yip and Raymond Chan Chi-chuen. Photo: Sam Tsang

When the radicals made their debut in the Legislative Council during Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's era, they made the then chief executive flinch. Over the years, their pranks have become more sophisticated; their launch pads for bananas now accommodate filibusters.

Monday, 27 May, 2013, 5:00am

Filibuster saga a reminder that democracy is a messy business

Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, president of Legislative Council. Photo: Edward Wong

After more than 160 hours of "debate" in the Legislative Council, starting on April 24, the budget bill was finally enacted, enabling the legislature to vote through more than HK$350 billion of funding for public expenditure. Hong Kong's unwelcome version of a "fiscal cliff" was narrowly averted after officials issued dire warnings of impending disruption to critical public services, and much drama and altercation in Legco.

26 May 2013 - 4:35am

Lawmakers approve budget, to government's relief

Lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung is expelled from the Legco chamber yesterday. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

The city's annual budget was passed in the Legislative Council last night by a safe margin after a month-long filibuster. The long-awaited legislative approval ends the prospect of the government running out of cash to operate. Since the financial year started in April, it has been functioning on an interim fund of HK$75.5 billion.

22 May 2013 - 4:03am 2 comments

Filibuster in Hong Kong's legislative assembly divides lawmakers, public

Radical legislators (from left) Wong Yuk-man, Albert Chan and Leung Kwok-hung are defiant over using a filibuster in the budget debate in the Legislative Council. Photo: Sam Tsang

The use of delaying tactics by radical lawmakers in Legco in an attempt to block a budget bill has divided both politicians and the public.

11 Jun 2015 - 3:50pm

No rule to follow to end filibusters in HK's Legislative Council

Legco president Jasper Tsang

The filibuster has been part of the Hong Kong political scene for more than a decade, but despite the stalling tactic being used three times in the past year, the Legislative Council's rules of procedure show little sign of catching up.

21 May 2013 - 3:11am 1 comment

Legco chief rejects pan-dems' two-thirds vote plan to end budget filibuster

Jasper Tsang Yok-sing. Photo: Sam Tsang

The Legislative Council president has sparked new controversy after he rejected pan-democrats' suggestion that any bid to end a filibuster should require two-thirds of lawmakers' votes.

20 May 2013 - 10:26am 1 comment

Letters to the Editor, May 19, 2013

The pink dolphin's days are numbered. Photo: AFP

The future belongs to our children, and every loving parent should want that future to include the biodiversity that we take for granted.

19 May 2013 - 3:55am 1 comment

Filibuster brings opportunity to think outside box

Some legislators displayed anti-filibuster banners during Legco meetings. Photo: Felix Wong

The Chinese equivalent of "filibuster" is Libo, meaning "stretching the cloth". This translation gives an image of fluff and flannel, not exactly the stuff of gravitas.

Yet, nothing could be more serious than filibustering, which acts like a safety valve, allowing minority voices to be heard. Filibustering, like a political pulse, is often an outward sign of an inner malaise.

17 May 2013 - 3:11am

Tsang's deadline ends filibuster and bill delay

Legco president Jasper Tsang and lawmaker Ann Chiang take a break from debate to celebrate their birthdays yesterday. Photo: David Wong

All 710 amendments to the budget bill - mostly filed by four radical pan-democrats as part of a filibuster - were vetoed in the Legislative Council last night as the government edged away from the possibility of running out of cash by next month.

After one of the legislature's longest debates, the annual appropriation bill was expected to be passed by a safe margin early next week.

17 May 2013 - 3:11am

Ending budget filibuster was Legco's darkest day

Jasper Tsang (left) receives a pat on the shoulder from "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung after announcing his filibuster decision. Photo: Sam Tsang

On Tuesday, the president of the Legislative Council, Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, finally ended 60 hours of filibustering on the budget bill with some tricky manoeuvring and the support of semi-reluctant mainstream democratic lawmakers.

17 May 2013 - 3:17am 9 comments

Letters to the Editor, May 16, 2013

Under-fire Legco president Jasper Tsang. Photo: Sam Tsang

Disruptive filibuster had to be halted

I agree with the decision of Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing to end a filibuster on the budget bill.

16 May 2013 - 2:47am

The gutsy and gutless among pan-dems

Lawmakers Raymond Chan Chi-chuen, Leung Kwok-hung and Albert Chan Wai-yip and members of People Power and League of Social Democrats protest outside Legislative Council. Photo: Dickson Lee

Whatever you think about the four filibustering lawmakers, at least they took a principled stance. Not so their 20-plus pan-democratic colleagues in the legislature. They didn't want to alienate many of their core supporters for whom any antics that cause trouble or embarrassment for the government are welcome.

16 May 2013 - 2:47am 7 comments

No winners as Legco filibuster comes to an end

Jasper Tsang Yok-sing

Lawmakers across the political spectrum said yesterday that no one stood to gain after an 11-day debate triggered by radical legislators' filibustering came to an end.

15 May 2013 - 7:16am 1 comment

Opinion divided as Legco chief cuts off filibuster debate on budget bill

Jasper Tsang receives a pat on the shoulder from "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung after announcing his filibuster decision. Photo: Sam Tsang

Legco president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing ruled yesterday that weeks of filibustering by radical lawmakers to block passage of the budget bill had to end by 1pm today. His decision to axe the debate, however, has sparked controversy over the use of his power.

14 May 2013 - 4:53am 2 comments

Legco president Jasper Tsang orders end to budget bill filibuster

Legco pressident Jasper Tsang Yok-sing speaks at the council in Tamar last month. Photo: Edward Wong

The president of the Legislative Council on Monday ordered to end a filibuster on the budget bill by Tuesday.

Jasper Tsang Yok-sing ordered that the remaining 131 debates would be merged and ended by Tuesday at 1pm. This would be immediately followed by a vote on each of the amendments.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am