Hong Kong’s top financial services officials were told they did not need to brief lawmakers as scheduled yesterday, as their meeting at the legislature was called off due to a lack of quorum. The Legislative Council’s financial affairs panel meeting at 9am had been regarded as one of the panel’s most important meetings of the year. The panel monitors and examines government policies and issues of public concern relating to financial and finance matters. Yesterday’s meeting was set to discuss financial affairs initiatives noted last month in Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s policy address. READ MORE: Legco finance committee chair cuts pan-democrat filibuster on bridge project: half of debate time wasted on ‘irrelevant issues’ Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Professor Chan Ka-keung was to elaborate on policy initiatives, while Monetary Authority chief executive Norman Chan Tak-lam was due to explain the watchdog’s work. Securities and Futures Commission chairman Carlson Tong Ka-shing had also planned to speak about the commission’s budget during the meeting. But panel chairman Ng Leung-sing called off the meeting at about 9.15am as only five lawmakers were present, one short of a quorum. “I am surprised, because Hong Kong is an international financial centre,” Ng said. “Yet lawmakers cannot make arrangements to attend the meeting, and it had to be called off.” The five present were League of Social Democrats chairman “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, accountancy representative Kenneth Leung, and pro-establishment lawmakers Ng, Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee and Chan Kam-lam, from the Beijing-loyalist Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong. The meeting was rescheduled to Friday next week. There are 20 members on the panel. Among the 15 who did not show up, nine were from the pro-establishment camp and six were pan-democrats. The nine were DAB’s Starry Lee Wai-king and four from the Business and Professionals Alliance. BPA lawmaker Christopher Cheung Wah-fung said they were late because a meeting with the Securities and Futures Commission overran. “Because of the rain, our driver parked our car a bit far away,” Cheung said. Absent pan-democrats included three from the Democratic Party and IT sector legislator Charles Mok. “I was a few seconds late because of the traffic, but this isn’t an excuse, so I apologise,” he said.