DAB urges Hong Kong government to mend ties before first Legislative Council meeting

Among 58 proposals, the pro-Beijing party has called on the Chief Executive to fix relations in the new legislature

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 October, 2016, 8:39pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 October, 2016, 9:02pm

The city's largest Beijing-friendly party has urged the Hong Kong government to mend ties with the legislature ahead of the first Legislative Council meeting next week.

The call came as the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong met Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to provide suggestions for the 2017 policy address and budget.

“The public hopes relations between the government and the legislature can improve in the new Legco term,” party chairwoman Starry Lee Wai-king said.

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“In order to achieve this, we believe the administration needs to lead the way by increasing communications [with various parties] and build a platform for Hong Kong society to communicate with the central government.”

Lee said she hoped the Chief Executive would help set up opportunities for legislators of the new term to visit the mainland and meet with Beijing officials.

By the end of the last Legco term, three bills – the medical registration amendment bill, the fire services bill and the private columbaria bill – had lapsed due to filibustering over a proposal to reform the Medical Council.

The DAB requested all three bills be tabled again in the legislature as soon as possible, after the new Legco term begins.

The party also called for a controversial clause in the city’s official pension scheme to be resolved.

Last Thursday, Leung promised to tackle the offsetting mechanism in the Mandatory Provident Fund within the remaining months of his current term after meeting with the Federation of Trade Unions.

The mechanism allows employers to settle severance and long service payments using employees’ MPF savings.

Lee said while they did not discuss in detail how the problem would be resolved, she said the government was committed to dealing with it.

Among the 58 proposals the party put forward to the administration, the DAB also called on the government to increase land supply and public housing in the city.

The DAB requested the government to set up a new platform to find ways to increase land supply in the city.

“While the current term of government doesn’t have a lot of time left, we believe the government can start implementing some of our suggestions if they are willing to do so,” Lee said.