A group of pro-establishment politicians will meet with China’s top official in Hong Kong Thursday, the latest attempt to deal with the fallout from last week’s devastating defeat of the election reform bill.
Apple Daily is describing the 9:30 p.m. meeting as an “apology session” in which nine members of the Beijing loyalist camp will have a chance to formally express contrition to Beijing.
The group is led by Jeffrey Lam, Ip Kwok-him and Tam Yiu-chung, the ringleaders of a walkout that resulted in 33 pro-Beijing lawmakers missing the vote and sealing the embarrassing collapse of the Beijing-designed proposal.
Lam, Ip and Tam are expected to speak during the meeting, followed by representatives of six pro-establishment parties.
Legco President Jasper Tsang, who denied Lam’s initial attempt to delay proceedings and allowed the vote to proceed after the walkout, has the penultimate word, before Zhang Xiaoming, director of the Beijing Liaison Office, wraps up the meeting with his own speech.
Lawmaker Andrew Leung from Lam’s Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong, said it is only sensible that responsible parties explain what happened.
Leung said the liaison office agrees it was a technical mistake.
Ip dismissed suggestions by fellow legislator Paul Tse that the pro-establishment camp should appoint a new monitor to coordinate different political groups in the alliance.
Ip said a new monitor is not necessary because the job is mainly communication.
“I would not hesitate to quit the job, if ever it’s classified as a job,” Ip said.
Meanwhile, in a Ming Pao Daily ope-ed, pro-Beijing veteran Ng Hong-mun, 88, hit back at his pro-establishment allies for saying old members should give way to the younger generation.
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