Call to explain co-location deal

If a simple nod from the National People's Congress could justify the co-location arrangement, it would not have taken seven years to push it through, former transport chief Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said.

Sum Lok-kei

Thursday, January 04, 2018

If a simple nod from the National People's Congress could justify the co-location arrangement, it would not have taken seven years to push it through, former transport chief Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said.

"If what the NPC says is absolute, why would it have taken seven years? Seven days would have been enough!" Cheung told a Chinese-language newspaper.

While Cheung agrees that the co-location arrangement does not violate the Basic Law, he urged the Hong Kong government to explain its rationale in greater detail to ease the public's concerns.

He said the SAR government must have "thought it through" before introducing the arrangement to the public and added that the NPC's approval was not made "arbitrarily."

When the Basic Law was drafted, co-location could not have been foreseen, therefore it is hard to find a provision to directly respond to the arrangement, he said.

The Basic Law is not "totally rigid" and could accommodate co-location, Cheung said.

Meanwhile, a "co-location concern alliance" formed by pro-establishment camp members met with Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan yesterday.

Alliance spokesman, Clarence Leung Wang-ching, son of Legislative Council president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, said members urged the government to start local legislation on co-location as soon as possible.

Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan, who leads the pan-democrats' co-location concern group, voiced her dissatisfaction after the transport chief refused to meet her group. Requests by her group to meet him have been turned down multiple times.

"Since the arrangement was announced on July 25, the government is still avoiding opposing opinions," she said.