Pan-dems furious over call to disband CY probe

Pan-dems say if anyone should be leaving a Legco select committee into CY Leung's UGL payments it should be DAB lawmaker Holden Chow (pictured). Photo: RTHK

Pan-dems say if anyone should be leaving a Legco select committee into CY Leung’s UGL payments it should be DAB lawmaker Holden Chow (pictured). Photo: RTHK

Lawmakers on a Legco select committee tainted by secret discussions involving the subject of their probe, Chief Executive CY Leung, were at odds on Wednesday over whether the committee ought to be disbanded, with pan-democrats alleging the true motive behind the suggested move is to get them booted out.

While pro-democracy committee members earlier insisted DAB lawmaker Holden Chow had to step down from the probe after his clandestine talks with Leung, pro-establishment members said the opposition councillors had damaged trust by leaking details of Chow’s antics.

Wong Kwok-kin, from the pro-Beijing Federation of Trade Unions, said he hopes to raise a dismissal motion at the committee’s meeting on Friday, with a view to a new panel being formed. 

He accused pan-democrats of violating confidentiality rules saying they had compromised the integrity of the investigation by making public information they had gleaned from a closed-door meeting. 

It was at such a meeting on Monday that the Legco Secretariat is believed to have alerted lawmakers to the fact that a document submitted to the committee on the scope of the probe into Leung’s HK$50million UGL payment had been edited by the man himself.

Wong said dissolving the committee was his own personal idea and he was yet to discuss it with his pro-government allies. But his suggestion provoked further fury among the pan-democratic camp, which insists it is Chow, the committee’s vice chairman, that needs to go. 

“I am afraid that after the dismissal of the committee, the pro-establishment camp will hand-pick councillors to join the committee and prevent any so-called trouble-maker to enter the committee,” said Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting.

Another committee member, Kenneth Leung from the Professional Commons, said he doesn’t think there’s a strong case for dismissing the committee, while Hong Kong First’s Claudia Mo said the move would be a stalling tactic by the pro-establishment camp.

The select committee chairman Paul Tse said it is up to Legco’s House Committee to decide on the fate of the select committee, and he does not have a stance on the matter.

Meanwhile, DAB chairwoman Starry Lee has sought to play down Chow’s actions, while conceding that he could have behaved in a more politically-sensitive manner. 

“We have to understand that the committee has to communicate with stakeholders from time to time because it is a fair procedure,” she said.

However, Civic Party lawmaker Dennis Kwok said he plans to table a motion at Friday’s House Committee meeting to try to get Chow impeached.