Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has said that he was not willing to accept defeat in forming a new Culture Bureau due to lawmakers’ filibuster in 2012.

At a forum on Thursday hosted by the Hong Kong United Foundation – an organisation formed by Leung’s supporters – Leung was asked by pro-Beijing district councillor Chan Choi-hi whether he will start a “Culture and Creativity Office” in Hong Kong, since the current Create HK Office does not handle culture matters.

Leung said that it was a good idea, but he has bigger ambitions of starting a Culture Bureau. Before Leung took office in July 2012, he suggested forming the bureau dedicated to promoting the development of cultural services and cultural industries in Hong Kong. However, the government had to withdraw the plan due to filibustering tactics in the Legislative Council.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. Photo: Speakout HK.

“If it were [a situation of] the minority being subordinate to the majority and my motion was rejected, I accept that,” Leung added. “But for the majority to be subordinate to the minority, that the majority has to obey few filibustering lawmakers, I am not willing to accept that.”

Leung said that he will examine the possibility of setting up a Culture and Creativity Office, but that such a plan would have to pass the Establishment Subcommittee in the LegCo before being reviewed by the LegCo general assembly. If the plan involves financial arrangements, it would then need to be passed by the Finance Committee.

“I am willing to do it if you all support me,” Leung said.

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Leung suggested that two new bureaus should be formed after he was elected chief executive in March 2012: the Culture Bureau and the Innovation and Technology Bureau (ITB).

Funding for the ITB was approved last month after lawmakers blocked it for three years using filibustering tactics.The bureau was officially formed on November 20, with Nicholas Yang Wei-hsiun appointed as the first Secretary for Innovation and Technology.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.