Additional funds totalling HK$19.6 billion for the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) have been approved by the legislature’s Finance Committee, despite fierce protests and filibustering from pan-democratic lawmakers.

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Photo: StandNews.

Pan-democrats questioned the procedure set by acting chairman of the committee Chan Kam-lam whereby newly elected lawmaker Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu could only ask questions after motions put forward by pan-democratic lawmakers were dealt with. The 19 pan-democratic lawmakers moved 1,262 motions, but Chan only approved 36.

Chaotic scenes

Lawmakers such as Ray Chan Chi-chuen, Lee Cheuk-yan and Claudia Mo Man-ching rushed to the chairman’s table in attempt to take away Chan Kam-lam’s microphone, in order to stall the meeting.

Leung Kwok-hung sprayed ink on Chan, and was told to leave.

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Leung Kwok-hung sprayed ink on Chan Kam-lam. Photo: StandNews.

Chan Kam-lam also ordered four other pan-democratic lawmakers, Albert Chan Wai-yip, Ray Chan, Lee Cheuk-yan and Claudia Mo, to leave the meeting room but the order could not be executed by security guards, who were trying to block lawmakers from getting close to the chairman’s table.

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Chan then suspended the meeting three times, with each suspension lasting 10 minutes each. He then moved the meeting into the Legislative Council chamber.

Chan decided to bypass the 7-minute question time allocated to Civic Party lawmaker Alvin Yeung, and begin the discussion of the motions put forward by lawmakers. Yeung then took out a loudspeaker and questioned Chan’s decision to bypass him.

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Alvin Yeung protesting using a loudspeaker. Photo: StandNews.

Large numbers of pan-democratic lawmakers protested in support of Yeung, leaving their seats and rushing to the front of the chamber. They were asked by Chan to leave.

At 5.10 pm, Chan suddenly asked lawmakers to vote on the motion, but only counted the votes of those seated. The HK$19.6 billion extra funds for controversial rail project was passed.

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A sudden vote was called by Chan Kam-lam. Photo: StandNews.

Yeung later added that he would apply for judicial review over Chan ignoring his request to have a recorded vote, which he claimed was in violation of the Basic Law.

Police respond as protesters rush in

Protesters stormed into LegCo building as the funding was passed and stayed on an escalator leading up to the chamber. Police officers went into LegCo to maintain order. Some protesters were holding loudspeakers. A LegCo staff member asked protesters to leave the building or face police action.

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Protesters stormed into LegCo after the funding was passed. Photo: StandNews.

LegCo Finance Committee meeting video in full.

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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.