The Security Bureau's political assistant Victor Lo Yik-kee is the subject of a formal complaint by a lawmaker for poor knowledge of policies, the first case since the government introduced the new tier of officials last year. Legislators and human rights activists said the political appointee had replied 'I don't know' to most of their questions and had read out answers at a meeting, which was cut short from two hours to one for want of discussion. Democratic Party vice-chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing said she was 'deeply angry and shocked' after witnessing Mr Lo's performance, in her letter to Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong yesterday. Ms Lau, another legislator James To Kun-sun and seven representatives from human rights and journalist groups met Mr Lo last Friday to discuss security policies. They had raised eight areas for discussion, including national security legislation, mutual legal assistance between the mainland and Hong Kong, and the transfer of escaped convicts. 'We already told Mr Lo the topics we wanted to discuss several weeks ahead,' Ms Lau wrote. 'Mr Lo lacks knowledge about the background of various policies and could not tell us the progress of any work ... He failed to explain the government's stances on issues. He hummed and hawed when responding to most of our questions. Participants of the meeting felt deeply angry and shocked.' Society for Community Organisation organiser Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheung, who was also at the meeting, said the political assistant read out a script at the beginning of each discussion item. Mr Lo could not answer whether the government was continuing its research on legislation for Article 23 of the Basic Law, or whether the government had recently discussed mutual legal assistance arrangements with the mainland, he said. 'He simply told us he didn't know. We were left speechless.' The political appointee denied he was ignorant. 'Some of the matters involved long-term policy considerations,' he said. 'I could not give them a simple answer because the administration needed time to consider them. I will maintain communication with them to prevent any misunderstanding in the future.' Having retired as the assistant commissioner of police, Mr Lo was appointed to the position at the age of 55 - the oldest among all the nine political assistants. The appointment of undersecretaries and political assistants triggered controversy last year, when some appointees' foreign citizenships came to light and when the government initially refused to disclose their individual salaries. Mr Lo was involved in the nationality row, as he had right of abode in Britain. He is paid HK$134,150 a month. The activists had initially asked to meet Mr Lee. But the minister suggested that Mr Lo represent him. In yesterday's letter Ms Lau asked the minister to arrange another meeting with them. Mr Tsoi said the Security Bureau had been less responsive to human rights groups under Mr Lee's leadership. 'I think the issues we raise should be taken to the ministerial level,' he said. 'In the past, we met [former secretary for security] Regina Ip [Lau Suk-yee] once or twice a year. But Ambrose Lee has only met us once since he took office. Even if he can't come, he should send an official who is familiar with the policies.'