The chairwoman of the Legislative Council’s House Committee, Starry Lee, says the legislature did not run as smoothly as she hoped in the past year, partly due to the opposition’s filibustering.
Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday to conclude the committee’s work in the past legislative year, Ms Lee also said chaos created by the oath-taking controversy surrounding Youngspiration localists Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching had also slowed down Legco’s work.
Looking ahead, the DAB legislator said she hopes lawmakers and the government will work together to improve their relationship, which has been “tense” in recent years.
“I hope that with the new administration, with better communication, things can be smoother,” said Lee.
But the vice-chairman of the house committee, the Civic Party’s Dennis Kwok, rebuffed Ms Lee’s criticism of the pan-democrats’ filibustering.
He said legislators must spend time scrutinizing large funding requests and complex bills.
Referring to the reasons for filibustering, Kwok said, “sometimes it’s about blocking the wrong piece of legislation, or blocking the wrong piece of public work that shouldn’t cost the Hong Kong people so much.”
Kwok said he had spoken to the Chief Secretary about filibustering and Matthew Cheung understood his explanation that legislation is becoming more complex.
Kwok said that the effectiveness of Legco’s work must be judged in its larger context.
“Overall, I think that the Legislative Council is doing its job,” Kwok added.