Date
30 March 2017
Jasper Tsang (inset) says it was not the first time a head count had been bungled, resulting in a Legco session being halted. Photos: tvb.com
Jasper Tsang (inset) says it was not the first time a head count had been bungled, resulting in a Legco session being halted. Photos: tvb.com

Legco ‘oops’ moment holds up copyright bill for weeks

Someone flubbed the head count, so the controversial copyright amendment bill is facing another delay.

The Legislative Council called off a third reading of the proposal after failing to muster a quorum with only 34 members present, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

It turns out there were 35 lawmakers in the chamber and there’s video evidence to prove it.

In the end, the Legco Secretariat admitted it had made a mistake, but by then Legco President Jasper Tsang had adjourned the meeting.

Tsang said it was not the first time the head count had been bungled, resulting in a meeting being halted.

Lawmakers had planned to spend the next three days from Wednesday to tackle the copyright amendment bill which passed second reading on Jan. 21.

Now the bill is unlikely to pass before end-March when the chamber will be busy reviewing the new budget.

People Power legislator Raymond Chan moved for a roll call after Financial Secretary John Tsang had presented his ninth budget.

Pro-establishment lawmakers accused pan-democrats of trying to derail the bill by denying the meeting a quorum, with only Charles Mok acknowledging his presence during the roll roll.

But a check of the in-house security footage showed there were 35 members around, enough for the session to proceed.

Kenneth Chen, secretary general of the secretariat, later apologized for the fiasco, promising to do better next time.

How about improving their counting skills?

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TL/AC/RA

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