Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah's extended absence from the budget debate earlier this week will be the main topic of discussion when Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen meets Legislative Council House Committee chairwoman Miriam Lau Kin-yee on Monday. During the House Committee meeting yesterday, lawmakers said Mr Tsang's absence showed a lack of respect for Legco and the public. Ms Lau, who meets the chief secretary every week, pledged to reflect discontent and demand a written explanation from Mr Tsang. However, opinions differed yesterday about what action to take against Mr Tsang. Democratic Party veteran Martin Lee Chu-ming suggested forcing an adjournment to the passing of the budget, although even his own party queried whether this would be counterproductive given the packed legislative schedule. There are still four lawmakers who have yet to speak on the issue, including Leung Kwok-hung of April Fifth Action, and they could still speak on Wednesday, when Mr Tsang responds to the budget debate. Liberal Party chairman James Tien Pei-chun said: 'I, too, cannot think for what reason Mr Tsang was not able to stay for all the debate. I don't recall anything ... more important than the budget debate.' However, Mr Tien said springing surprises on officials just before they responded would break with convention and set a bad precedent.