Top officials under fire for attending banquet

Officials and lawmakers have drawn ire for attending a banquet on Monday night in a growing political firestorm.

Members of the public who called in to an RTHK radio show expressed anger at those who were there.

“Everyone around the world is fighting the pandemic, and you held this gathering? This wouldn’t be right for normal citizens, let alone senior officials and famous people… Don’t let us see that only senior officials and famous people are allowed to have gatherings, while normal citizens can’t even dine out,” a caller surnamed Cheung said.

Other said those who held or attended the event should be held accountable.

“They don’t hold themselves accountable and didn’t resign. If they don’t resign [the government] can fire them! Will Carrie Lam fire these officials?” asked a caller surnamed Yuen.

Speaking on the same show, IT sector lawmaker Duncan Chiu, one of 19 legislators who attended the banquet, said he was “careless” and stayed too long, and that they had set a bad example.

Chiu said his Covid-19 test has come back negative, and he and his family will be sent into quarantine.

Third Side legislator Tik Chi-yuen also said those who attended the banquet were not alert enough and failed to set a good example for the public.

Tik, who had lunch with the home affairs minister Caspar Tsui a day after the banquet, added that he was waiting for his test result and will work from home from Friday.