Legco switch mulled to ease finance holdup – The Standard – Phoenix Un

Legislative Council president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen has proposed to shorten regular Legco meetings and instead hold Finance Committee ones to speed up the approval of funding requests.

The proposal came after Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung expressed concern to the pro- establishment camp on Wednesday that committee agendas are being delayed.

Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong vice chairman Gary Chan Hak-kan told the media that Cheung hoped the committee will have extra meetings to handle piled-up items.

Leung met several pro- establishment party chiefs about the suggestion yesterday, according to Chan.

The Legco chief suggested that non- binding motions usually handled on Thursday should be postponed with the time allocated for Finance Committee and public works subcommittee meetings.

“We are not trying to stop them from discussing any topics, but legislators’ motions are debates without lawmaking effect, thus it would cause no problem discussing them one or two weeks later,” Chan said.

If approved by both camps, the extra meeting will be held starting from the week of June 14, after the motion censuring legislator Holden Chow Ho-ding and impeaching Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has finished.

But Nathan Law Kwun-chung of Demosisto said the pro-establishment camp should not sacrifice council meetings while Eddie Chu Hoi-dick of Land Justice League said extra meetings should instead be held on Saturdays.

“We don’t need the chief secretary to come to teach us how to be legislators,” Chu said.

Cheung met about 15 pro- democracy legislators yesterday and suggested that they should not waste time calling for adjournment of debate, and ask questions regarding complicated policy matters in panels.

The Finance Committee has only approved 17 items since the legislative session started compared to 88 items in the same period last year, Cheung said.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary for Development Michael Wong Wai- lun is likely to become secretary for development in Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet- ngor’s government. This came after the rumored appointment of former lawmaker Tony Tse Wai-chuen was criticized. It means even fewer “outsiders” in the next government, with the majority being incumbents or promoted underlings.

DAB chairwoman Starry Lee Wai- king said the rumored lineup shows that “the hot kitchen is too hot for outsiders.” Law Chi-kwong, tipped to be secretary for labor and welfare, has yet to ask to withdraw from the Democratic Party, party chief Wu Chi-wai said.