The antagonistic working relationship between the executive arm of government and the legislature has long been seen as an obstacle to effective governance in Hong Kong. While lawmakers and officials are not expected to see eye to eye on every issue, they are required to work closely for the benefit of the people. As both Legco and the government are beginning new terms of office, hopes are high that the two branches can better co-operate in the coming years. If their first get-together is any indication of their future relations, there is reason to be concerned. Just 38 of the 70 newly elected lawmakers attended a lunch hosted by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on Monday. Only six of the 27 pan-democrats showed up, three of whom simply handed in petitions and left before the meal. They boycotted the event because they felt Leung had not done enough in the controversy over the national education curriculum. Arguably, the lunch is just a social occasion, a time to get acquainted. There will be more opportunities for them to meet in the future. But the snub is hardly a good way to start a cordial working relationship. It is merely a political gesture to show that the pan-democrats will continue to play the opposition. The road ahead will not be easy. Constitutionally, the legislature functions as a check-and-balance to the executive arm. But at the same time lawmakers are also required to work with the administration to get things done. Without Legco support, no government policies, bills or appropriation can be implemented. It is therefore imperative for both sides to be able to iron out differences, seek common ground and work towards the public good. Now a political statement has been made, there is a need to get down to business. No doubt the pan-democrats are expected to resort to more political stunts to frustrate and embarrass the Leung team. But they also have to engage themselves in the political process in a more meaningful way. A strained work relationship is not in Hong Kong's best interest.