The government’s inability to quell dissatisfaction in the city was criticised by pro-establishment legislative council member James Tien Pei-chun and pan-democrat James To Kun-sun as the debate for a motion of thanks for the 2016 Policy Address continued Friday.

James Tien Pei-chun. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

Tien, of the Liberal Party, said: “I think the pro-establishment has been made a  ‘scapegoat.’ The Chief Executive lit the fire, the pan-democrats added the oil, so why do we have to put out the fire? A full 35 people need to sit here to put out the fire for the Chief Executive. I really am not so pleased.”

He said that the Chief Executive should change his way of speaking with society, the pan democrats, and students.

James To Kun-sun. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

To, of the Democratic Party, said that if the government truly thinks that last week’s unrest in Mong Kok was “completely unrelated to governance,” then the tensions between the government and those who disagree with it will not be alleviated.

According to Ming Pao, Carrie Lam Yuet-Ngor said yesterday that, while lawmakers can be unfair, the government is fair, regardless of whether suggestions or criticism come from the pan-democrats or the pro-establishment sides. The government always responds carefully and takes criticism into consideration, she said.

File photo: Alex Hofford.

The policy address was given by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on January 13, 2016. The address was criticised by the pan-dems as ‘a blank page of red and nothing of substance.’

Update 19:05: Lawmakers voted down a motion to thank the Chief Executive for his address on Friday evening. In declining the motion for the ninth year running, 15 geographic constituency lawmakers voted in support and 16 against. Meanwhile, 21 functional constituency lawmakers voted in support and nine against.

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.