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Carrie Lam

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam took ‘active approach’ in reaching out to Legco president with online message

New top official moves to improve relationship between executive and legislative branches; Legco historical exhibition runs till end July

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 July, 2017, 4:37pm
UPDATED : Monday, 03 July, 2017, 4:42pm

Hong Kong’s new chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor sent an online message on Monday to the Legislative Council president, expressing hopes of improving the relationship between the executive and legislative branches.

Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen revealed that he received an email from the leader this morning. “She said she greatly valued the relationship between the executive and legislative branches, so she met me on the second day after winning the leadership race [in March], and that she would come to Legco as soon as Wednesday for the question-and-answer session.”

Leung added it was an active approach by Hong Kong’s new chief executive, now on her first day in office.

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Pro-establishment lawmaker Horace Cheung Kwok-kwan, a newly appointed Executive Council member, also said Lam suggested she attend Legco once to twice a month for the sessions.

“I think the government has to be transparent, and the work of Legco has to be transparent as well and stay close to the pulse on the ground,” Leung said, adding that he had earlier suggested to Lam about adopting the practice in Britain, in which the prime minister spent half an hour a week answering questions from parliament members.

Leung said any new arrangement was still being discussed by lawmakers, and also between Lam and her cabinet.

“As the chief executive intends to improve the relationship between the branches, I hope my colleagues will work together [towards this common goal],” Leung said, adding that it takes two hands to clap.

Since last week, the Legco committee on rules of procedure has been inviting views from legislators on whether to allow the chief executive to attend regular meetings once or twice a month for 30-minute sessions to answer lawmakers’ queries.

Meanwhile, Legco is holding an exhibition with the theme of “looking back and ahead”, celebrating the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule.

On show is a collection of materials including the Reunification Ordinance passed in 1997, which ensured laws previously in force in Hong Kong continue after the handover of the city from Britain to China.

Other displays include a set of traditional Kazakh costume worn by judiciary officials, presented by a delegation from the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and a Chinese bronze relic presented by China’s Supreme People’s Court.

The exhibition is open to the public until the end of July. Admission is free.