Semblance of order returns to Legco

Top News | Cindy Wan 12 Jul 2019

Business was definitely not usual at the Legislative Council, which opened yesterday after the July 1 siege by fugitive bill protesters.

Lawmakers and Legco staff were allowed to return to the complex in Tamar after the red alert was lifted at 8am - even though its security systems have yet to be repaired.

The voice broadcast system, security camera system and entry-and-exit electronic systems have not been restored, while the main lobby, chamber and conference facilities on the first and second floors remain closed for repairs. And although the fire-alarm system has been restored warnings could not be aired due to the damaged broadcast system.

In a notice, the Legco Secretariat told those who returned to work to "escape immediately" if the fire alarm horn was sounded. It also urged them not leave valuable items in the offices and to lock doors before leaving because all cameras are not functioning.

New lawmakers' assistants cannot work yet as no new temporary passes could be issued.

Lawmaker Priscilla Leung Mei-fun said the building is not "entirely safe" as the keys to the offices of some lawmakers' had been lost.

Lam Cheuk-ting disputed this, saying policemen were patrolling the complex. He suggested that the pro-government Leung is merely afraid of the people.

Helena Wong Pik-wan said no damage was made to offices from the sixth floor up. She said some pro-government lawmakers in the Legco Commission have suggested hiring an expert to review and upgrade security, but she believes it is not the issue.

The ongoing political storm over the bill was a result of the government turning a blind eye to protesters' demands, she said. "If it does not solve these key problems, strengthening the security will not be any help - glass can be broken and stone walls can be [taken down]," she said.

Meanwhile, Yau Tsim Mong District Council chairman Chris Ip Ngo-tung banned Civic Party's district councillor Andy Yu Tak-po from discussing a motion opposing the bill at the meeting yesterday.

People yelled slogans opposing Ip's decision, forcing him to call off the meeting half an hour later.

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