Date
26 May 2017
MTR chairman Frederick Ma (left) and chief executive Leong Kwok-kuen are all smiles after shareholders approved the rail link budget on Monday. Photo: HKEJ
MTR chairman Frederick Ma (left) and chief executive Leong Kwok-kuen are all smiles after shareholders approved the rail link budget on Monday. Photo: HKEJ

MTR urges rail budget approval; lawmakers say more time needed

MTR Corp. (00066.HK) chairman Frederick Ma Si-hang called on lawmakers to stop filibustering and approve the revised budget proposal for the cross-border express rail link.

Lawmakers are reluctant to grant the approval amid concerns over the joint immigration checkpoint for the high-speed rail project, which they say would violate the “one country, two systems” principle, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported on Tuesday.

The Legislative Council has to approve the revised proposal by the end of February to ensure the continuity of the construction, Ma said.

But Chan Kin-por, chairman of Legco finance committee, said it is impossible for his panel to approve the new budget without first discussing the issues involved.

Meanwhile, MTR minority shareholders, with a combined control of 474 million shares of the company, voted overwhelmingly to approved the new budget plan. The “yes” votes represented 99.83 percent of the eligible voting rights.

During the shareholders’ meeting on Monday, Ma used his discretionary power as chairman to cut short the question-and-answer session for minority shareholders and proceed with the voting.

Ma reiterated that the company has already invested HK$60 billion in the project and terminating the construction, if the new budget is not approved, will only lead to more expenses.

Chan said he will not chair the meeting for the budget plan as he is working for an insurance company involved in the project.

Pro-establishment lawmaker Chan Kam-lam, vice-chairman of the committee, will chair the meeting instead.

[Chinese version中文版]

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