Date
11 December 2017
DAB legislator Leung Che-cheung says fellow lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung should not have taken a document from his desk. Photo: HKEJ
DAB legislator Leung Che-cheung says fellow lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung should not have taken a document from his desk. Photo: HKEJ

Does the DAB sing from a government songbook?

Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok had nothing to say about it.

Legislator Leung Che-cheung, a member of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), said it was his and should never have been taken.

And lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, who “picked it up”, said it should never have been provided by the Security Bureau.

The “it” is a document with four standard questions that the bureau drafted in preparation for a meeting of the Legislative Council’s security panel Tuesday.

The DAB admitted the paper is an internal party document but said the questions were not supplied at the bureau’s request, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday.

The report also cited unnamed sources in the pro-Beijing camp as saying the bureau had provided something similar to their council members and the panel was just a staged show led by the government and pro-establishment forces.

The sources also said it was a regular practice for government departments or bureaus and departments to supply set questions.

The bureau not only offered talking points, it would also give tips on facial expressions for council members, the report said.

Leung Kwok-hung attacked the bureau, saying it was a waste of money to hire the secretary, undersecretary and the political assistant so they can ask some political party to pretend that its views represent public opinion.

Lai did not comment on the issue, but said the bureau would provide information in response to queries from council members, leaving it up to the political party to determine how to handle that information, the report said.

But Leung Che-cheung accused Leung Kwok-hung of taking the document from his desk while he was away. The DAB lawmaker said the paper contained questions raised by DAB councilors in response to bureau information.

Cyd Ho Sau-lan, from the Labour Party, said that sometimes officials will ask what types of questions are likely to come up so they can be better prepared but she would not disclose them.

It’s the first time this kind of incident has been exposed in Legco. But it’s not a world away from the briefings government information officers sometimes give media friends in the hopes that they will lob softball questions to their bosses when the time comes.

– Contact us at [email protected]

AM/JP/SK

Chief reporter at EJ Insight

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