Pro-democracy lawmakers angry as Tung cancels meeting at the 11th hour Pro-democracy lawmakers yesterday called on the government to hold another round of public consultation on the national security bill. A 22-strong coalition demanded that Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa take no further part in drafting the security legislation and urged the government to set a date for the second reading of the bill. The pro-democracy legislators were also angry that Mr Tung had cancelled a meeting with them yesterday, which was originally scheduled to be held in the afternoon ahead of tomorrow's debate on the controversial laws. Mr Tung would have used the meeting to try to gather support from the pro-democracy camp for the three major amendments to the draft bill announced on Saturday. Democratic Party chairman Yeung Sum said he only received a call from the director of the chief executive's office, Lam Woon-kwong, at 11.30am, informing him of the cancellation. 'We hoped to take this chance to seek clarification from him [Mr Tung] as to what is meant by deferring [the resumption of the second reading of the bill], and whether another round of consultation will be carried out or not. 'Unfortunately, the meeting was cancelled,' he said. Although the government decided to postpone the enactment of the bill, he warned that the public should remain vigilant of the legislation. 'Deferral doesn't mean that the controversy [on the draft legislation] is solved,' Dr Yeung said, adding that it remained to be seen whether the delay was only a strategic move or a genuine response to the public's demands. He called for an open, fair and thorough public consultation on the draft laws. Legco's legal sector representative, Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, also said that the officials responsible for the handling of the bill, especially the security chief, should be changed to avoid any further public consultation being mishandled. Secretary for Security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee has been accused of bulldozing the legislation through without heeding advice from opponents or the views expressed by various religious, legal and professional groups. Her comments shortly before the July 1 mass protest - in which she said some people might join the march to have something to do on a holiday - outraged the public and prompted more people to join the protest. Although the coalition stopped short yesterday of calling for the chief executive to quit, both The Frontier legislator Emily Lau Wai-hing and independent legislator Albert Chan Wai-yip demanded his resignation. In response to the government's change of heart, former Bar Association chairman and Article 23 Concern Group member Alan Leong Ka-kit said he breathed a sigh of relief when he heard the bill would be postponed, but hoped there would be a sincere consultation this time. Chinese University law professor Michael Davis said the bill was mired in controversy largely because the government took such a combative approach to it. But he said the resignation of government officials was not the answer. 'Our constitutional reform discussion has to go forward because it doesn't matter if it's Tung or someone else. What Hong Kong people need is a system with leadership that responds to them,' he said. 'What we saw here was not leadership, but incremental surrender to pressure.' Ms Ng echoed the call for a sincere beginning to discussions on democratic election of a chief executive in 2007, saying that was the only way to allay the public's fears in the long run.