Localist lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai exchanged an awkward moment with pro-Beijing lawmaker Ann Chiang Lai-wan during Monday’s session of the Panel on Education.

The session was attended by Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim and Deputy Secretary Chan Ka-ki. When Cheng sought to raise his last question to the officials about the controversial Territory-wide System Assessment for primary school pupils, Chiang – who chaired the meeting – asked the lawmaker to look at her when he spoke.

Ann Chiang (L) and Cheng Chung-tai (R). Photo: Youtube.

Baffled, Cheng stopped and looked at Chiang for several seconds before the bell rang, signaling the end of his round.

“Time is up,” Chiang said, as the localist lawmaker reacted: “Are you kidding me, Chair? I can’t speak when I see your face.”

With a playful smile, Chiang raised her eyebrows at Cheng. The incident sparked laughter in the room.

Cheng was not allowed to finish his question. The pro-Beijing lawmaker then asked the Democratic Party’s Ted Hui to speak.

During the session, Chiang also had heated exchanges with Hui and pro-democracy lawmaker Helena Wong, with Chiang insisting that she had the right to intervene and respond to lawmakers’ criticism as the chair of the meeting.

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