Leung Chun-ying

Opposition lawmakers boycott Hong Kong leader’s farewell lunch

Leung Chun-ying thanks Legco for its support during his five-year term but concedes the relationship was not always easy

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 June, 2017, 11:49pm
UPDATED : Friday, 16 June, 2017, 11:50pm

Opposition pan-democrat lawmakers gave Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying a final slap in the face on Friday by boycotting his farewell lunch with the Legislative Council.

Leung, whose term ends in two weeks, conceded that his interaction with Legco over the past five years was not always enjoyable, but he said it had been fruitful, pointing to the implementation of welfare policies.

A report illustrating what he had achieved during his term would be issued soon, he added.

The relationship between Leung and pan-democratic lawmakers has long been hostile. The pan-democrats moved a recent impeachment motion, which failed, against the chief executive over his behind-the-scenes intervention in a legislative probe into his past business dealings.

Leung, on the other hand, has repeatedly taken aim at the opposition over their filibustering to delay government initiatives and political attacks during his term.

“I have to thank, and should openly thank, Legco for its support, cooperation and supervision of me and the government,” Leung said.

“In the process of interaction between the executive and legislative branches, there may be some processes that we did not enjoy much, but the results of the interaction can provide enjoyment for Hong Kong residents.”

Leung highlighted the 71 per cent increase in recurrent expenditure on social welfare and 30 per cent reduction of air pollutants compared with five years ago, saying he would summarise the work he achieved in the report.

The lunch was attended by 36 of the 40 pro-establishment legislators, along with members of his Executive Council and senior government officials.

All 27 pan-democrats were absent. “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung had registered to attend so as to protest, but he skipped the lunch to attend a court case.

The atmosphere of the farewell meal was described as relaxing and joyful. A birthday cake was prepared for the outgoing health minister, Dr Ko Wing-man, who was celebrating his 60th birthday.

The city’s next leader, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who takes office on July 1, together with the principal officials of the new government, were invited by the Legco president to a lunch on July 10.

Most pan-democrats said they would consider going to Lam’s lunch.

Meanwhile, Leung will be away from Hong Kong on holiday from June 18 to 21.