Retired photojournalist Cheung Tak-wing has filed a judicial review application against the Finance Committee’s approval of additional funding for the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL).
Additional funds totalling HK$19.6 billion were approved in a sudden vote in March, despite fierce protests and filibustering from pan-democratic lawmakers; among the 1,262 motions moved by the 19 pan-democratic lawmakers, only 36 were approved.
According to Apple Daily, Cheung said that some pan-democratic lawmakers were ordered to leave the meeting room by the acting chairman of the committee, Chan Kam-lam, during the vote. He said this allegedly violated the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance Section 19 by interfering with the right of members of the Council to vote.
He added that many councillors had raised their hands both in support and opposition, and some voted two or three times. The number of votes was therefore unclear and the result unfair, he said.
Chan, on the other hand, said on a Commercial Radio programme in March that he thinks he handled it “very well” on the day.
LegCo president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing said he supported Chan’s counting method, as it was based on Chan’s perception that there were more hands raised in support than in opposition.
Meanwhile, Cheng Sze-lut, assistant for Labour Party lawmaker Cyd Ho Sau-lan, applied for legal aid in March in order to lodge an application for judicial review against the funding approval. He said he would argue that Chan had bypassed the committee procedure and allowed the funding to put to the vote, StandNews reported.