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CY caves in over home grilling

Kelly Ip

Thursday, December 06, 2012

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Leung Chun-ying has finally given in to lawmakers' demands that he face up to questions over the illegal structures at his Peak home, but still stopped short of saying exactly when the grilling will take place.

The chief executive's concession to legislators comes two weeks after Legislative Council's House Committee invited him to make such an appearance.

Speaking at Legco yesterday, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said Leung will address issues of concern to lawmakers and the public.

House Committee chairman Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, who received Leung's written response yesterday, said the Legco secretariat will arrange for a session to be held as early as next week.

He further indicated it is up to the chief executive to decide whether it should take place before lawmakers debate a non-binding vote of no-confidence in him on Wednesday.

Democratic Party lawmaker Emily Lau Wai- hing said she is infuriated by Leung's slow response.

"He should come to Legco right away," she said, adding that Leung's behavior gives the public a strong impression that he has something to hide.

Lau said her colleague, Wu Chi-wai, will not withdraw the motion of no-confidence.

The Liberal Party's James Tien Pei-chun hopes Leung faces up to his critics before the motion is held, pointedly warning that "our decision on whether to back or oppose the motion will be affected by the timing of Leung's appearance."

Leung's response came a day after meeting pro- establishment lawmakers to thrash out the issue.

Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong chairman Tam Yiu-chung said they debated the pros and cons of an appearance.

"It will be more acceptable to the public if the chief executive appears in Legco rather than issuing a written statement," Tam said.

Leung is set to address the international and local media today as the guest speaker at a Foreign Correspondents' Club luncheon, which includes a question-and-answer session.

Democratic Party stalwart Martin Lee Chu-ming is helping Leung Kwok-hung of the League of Social Democrats draft the impeachment wording.

"Leung only agreed to face questioning out of fear of being impeached," Leung Kwok-hung said. "He wants to convince lawmakers that they have a reason to oppose the impeachment."

The Democratic and Civic parties have yet to decide whether to support the impeachment move.


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