Chaos spurs security review

Local | Cissy So and Phoenix Un 21 May 2019

The Legislative Council secretariat will review security arrangements after the last two fugitive law amendment bills committee meetings descended into chaos, Legco president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen said.

Clashes occurred between the pan-democrats and pro-establishment during the May 11 and 14 committee meetings, resulting in a few lawmakers sustaining injuries. Some of them filed police reports.

Legislator Abraham Shek Lai-him was supposed to preside over the meetings, but was prevented from doing so by pan-democrats, including James To Kun-sun.

Speaking after yesterday's Legco Commission meeting, Leung said the secretariat will follow up with media complaints that reporters were stopped from doing their work during the bills committee meetings.

"To secure the safety of the users of the building, the Legislative Council Commission will instruct the secretariat to review security arrangements, and that any arrangement will not restrict the press' work," Leung said.

He also said the commission will send a warning letter to Au Nok-hin of Council Front, as he distributed legislator assistant passes to visitors, which enabled them to enter restricted places.

However, Leung did not respond whether the secretariat had asked the involved head of security whether he required guards to state their political stance and identify themselves as "yellow ribbons" or "blue ribbons," meaning supporters of the pan-democrats or pro-establishment respectively.

A security guard surnamed Wong earlier sought help from Civic Party lawmaker Jeremy Tam Man-ho, alleging that she was targeted by her superiors and unfairly treated after she refused to fill in her political stance on a sheet in 2017, on which all her colleagues claimed they were "blue-ribbons."

Leung said the allegations made by Tam on behalf of Wong were serious, and suggested Legco should establish a three-person group to investigate the issue.

But Tam opposed that, saying Leung wanted to put Wong Ting-kwong of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong in charge of the group.

"I could only follow what was said and could only ask the Secretariat to provide a written report," he said.

Leung claimed the complaint letter did not contain any actual allegations against anyone in particular, but Tam refuted this.

Tam said Wong, in her letter sent earlier to the secretariat, already named the head of security. The secretariat also said it had asked the head of security involved about the matter, and he said he had "never engaged in any political censorship and there was no such form [to mark the political stance of guards]."

However, the Secretariat did not write that in any document.

Tam said he has witnesses to prove Wong was telling the truth, but he has to ensure they will be under protection.

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