Protests erupted once again at a meeting of the Finance Committee Legislative Council following the recent approval of funds for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge and the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link. The target of the protest on Friday was chairman Chan Kin-por.
Besides being a lawmaker, Chan is also a paid advisory board member of Munich Re group, an insurance group whose subsidiaries unsuccessfully bid for the cross-region bridge project and won a tender in the Express Rail Link project.
Chan chaired the meetings which approved the HK$5.46 billion additional funding for the bridge project, but excused himself from chairing the meetings on the HK$19.6 billion additional funding for the rail project.
Posted by 陳志全議員（慢必）專頁 on Friday, 18 March 2016
At the meeting on Friday which Chan chaired, lawmakers Ray Chan Chi-chuen, Albert Chan Wai-yip and Leung Kwok-hung questioned why Chan did not declare his interests, and accused him of using his power to schedule additional meetings to speed up the approval process.
The Finance Committee chairman retorted that he “had already given an explanation” on the potential conflict of interests, and it did not violate the Council’s rules of procedures. Chan said that Albert Chan could apply for a judicial review or report him to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Leung rushed to the chairman’s table and threw paper money – usually used as offerings for the dead – at Chan in protest: “Here’s your money!”
“You are crazy,” Chan said to Leung, and ordered him to leave the meeting.
Albert Chan then attempted to throw more of the paper props at Chan Kin-por but was blocked by security guards. Ray Chan did the same at his seat.
Both of them were escorted out by security guards, with Ray Chan lying on the floor in an attempt to resist removal.
Following the approval of the controversial bridge and rail funding, the government decided on Friday, after meeting with lawmakers, to place controversial items such as works at a former Kennedy Town incineration plant at the bottom of the legislature’s agenda, to speed up approval of other items.
However, pan-democratic lawmaker Cyd Ho Sau-lan said the government’s action came too late in resolving the conflicts in the legislature.
Ho added that since the remaining items were not controversial, the pan-democratic camp demanded the government insert three items on the agenda, namely special committees on the proposed joint immigration checkpoint at the West Kowloon terminus of the Express Rail Link, a universal pension scheme and standard working hours.
Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said in response that the items proposed by the pan-democrats were not directly related to the rearrangement of the agenda, though she will discuss with them if LegCo passes motions demanding her to.