Localist lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai exchanged an awkward moment with pro-Beijing lawmaker Ann Chiang Lai-wan during Monday’s session of the Panel on Education.
The session was attended by Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim and Deputy Secretary Chan Ka-ki. When Cheng sought to raise his last question to the officials about the controversial Territory-wide System Assessment for primary school pupils, Chiang – who chaired the meeting – asked the lawmaker to look at her when he spoke.
Baffled, Cheng stopped and looked at Chiang for several seconds before the bell rang, signaling the end of his round.
“Time is up,” Chiang said, as the localist lawmaker reacted: “Are you kidding me, Chair? I can’t speak when I see your face.”
With a playful smile, Chiang raised her eyebrows at Cheng. The incident sparked laughter in the room.
Cheng was not allowed to finish his question. The pro-Beijing lawmaker then asked the Democratic Party’s Ted Hui to speak.
During the session, Chiang also had heated exchanges with Hui and pro-democracy lawmaker Helena Wong, with Chiang insisting that she had the right to intervene and respond to lawmakers’ criticism as the chair of the meeting.