MR CHAN CHUN-YING (in Cantonese):
First of all, Deputy President, I wish to thank the many Members who have spoken just now for expressing the hope to hear my speech. As a matter of fact, during the Second Reading of the Banking (Amendment) Bill 2017 (“the Bill”) earlier, the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, James Henry LAU, has pointed out, clearly and definitively, in his speech that the Bill seeks to bring the banking legislation of Hong Kong up-to-date in accordance with the latest international standards. However, much to my regret, due to scheduling arrangement, the Bill becomes the tool and focus of filibustering today.
If the Bill is referred to the House Committee, Members generally will propose the establishment of a Bills Committee to scrutinize each clause of the Bill in one or multiple meetings. Since such Bills are relatively technical in nature, putting them through the discussions of a Bills Committee has the merit of making such discussions focused. It would make the whole procedure complete to subject, the Bill, with or without amendments, to discussion in the Bills Committee, before presenting it to the whole Council for discussion, followed by debates and passage after Third Reading.
I believe many Honourable colleagues will agree that it is one of the major responsibilities of Legislative Council Members to scrutinize legislation seriously. If this motion were passed, the Bill would suddenly enter the Committee stage of the whole Council, instead of going through the House
Committee and a Bills Committee, leaving many Honourable colleagues not prepared adequately. In fact, during the break just now when the President was considering whether or not to allow this motion debate to proceed, many colleagues asked me about the specifics of the motion. It serves to show that this method is not at all desirable.
Some Members also said to me just now that I should be very pleased and support the speedy passage of Mr CHU Hoi-dick’s motion. This is, however, not what I thought. For the Bill is a matter of international concern, as some Honourable colleagues have pointed out just now, and should be scrutinized by the Legislative Council with its consistent standard of stringency.
I also noted that most of the Members who have spoken just now in fact do not support Mr CHU’s motion. To avoid wasting the very valuable time of our Council, I suggest that Members should pose their questions, whether those questions are directed to me or someone else and whether they are something I can understand or hardly make sense of, in a Bills Committee for debate.
Therefore, I do not support this motion.
I so submit. Thank you, President.