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Standard: ‘Biased’ panel chairman under fire over landfill move

by Eddie Luk, The Standard:

A decision on the government’s landfill- incinerator proposal has been put on the back burner for another month after the chairman of the Legislative Council’s public works subcommittee was accused of bias.

The chairman, Lo Wai-kwok, had told panel members that discussion on the expansion of the Tseung Kwan O landfill and construction of an incinerator would be grouped together but they would be voted on separately.

Lo, who represents the engineering functional constituency, said he had decided to do so since the landfill and incinerator were related to waste management tactics.

But the announcement stirred an immediate uproar among the pan-democrats who accused him of favoring the government.

Neo Democrat Gary Fan Kwok-wai referred to a WhatsApp message Lo had sent before the Legco environmental affairs panel meeting in late March reminding pro- establishment lawmakers to make sure of their attendance.

“You seem to have your own agenda on the issue,” Fan yelled.

Lo hit back, saying that as a member of the panel he was entitled to express his opinion.

People Power lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip accused Lo of not conducting the meeting in a fair manner.

Lo stressed he would remain neutral while chairing the meeting.

The debate was put off until early next month. Democratic Party and Civic Party lawmakers made clear they would not support the funding applications.

Outside Legco, a group of Tseung Kwan O residents held a protest against the plan.

The government has been pressing lawmakers to support the landfill extension and the waste incinerator plant as all three landfills are projected to be full between 2015 and 2019.

17 Apr 2014

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