• Fri
  • Jul 25, 2014
  • Updated: 5:19am

Fili-blustering

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 May, 2012, 12:00am

Everyone down at Tamar needs to take a chill pill - getting all worked up because of a filibuster that no one seriously thought would end nicely anyway.

Our politicians seem unaware that the rest of us see right through their charades - that all their rants and over-the-top displays of indignation over every single ruling by the Legislative Council president, from allowing the filibuster to ending the filibuster, are simply their last-ditch efforts to get one up on one another before the curtain comes down on their office term.

I would be the first to admit, though, that we probably tolerate it for the comic relief these clowns provide. After clocking 14-hour working days, coming home to loads of dirty laundry and countless chores undone, tuning in to the evening news does sometimes provide more entertainment than watching the cheesy soaps that precede them.

For crying out loud, legislators complaining and patting themselves on the back for working overtime? That's funny as hell. Filibustering and brushing up their English-speaking skills? That cracks me up. Orchestrating a hunger strike? Give me a break. Practising Chinese calligraphy? Seriously? Imitating the tone of Premier Wen Jiabao ? Hilarious, really - at least until we realise all of it is done at our expense.

And once we figure out that all this nonsense came about due to the mother of all 'much ado about nothings' - the ill-fated de facto referendum that led to this filibuster mess - then we wonder why the legislators appear to be more hot and bothered than we are.

The so-called referendum on Hong Kong democratisation was doomed to fail since the idea was first floated back in 2009. So, in a sense, it shouldn't take anyone by surprise that the masterminds behind this expensive idea - one that eventually cost taxpayers HK$126million - would file more than 1,300 trivial and meaningless amendments to trigger the filibuster.

It's all meaningless - from the by-election masquerading as a referendum that didn't end up counting for much, except seats lost in last year's district council elections, to the pointless threat made by lawmaker Priscilla Leung Mei-fun to introduce a private member's bill into Legco to limit the ability of members to resign, to the government's response to Leung's pointless threat of actually producing a piece of legislation for it. And here we are, watching the legislature at work.

It's sad that these people seem to have a hard time seeing past their own egos. When all hell broke loose, they resorted to making a scapegoat of their president for invoking powers that he legally has. They were allowed to play political footsie for 30 hours. That's quite enough indulgence.

At the end of the day, an unlikely winner emerges: property tycoons. For all the venom and hate these clowns would like us to believe they bear against property developers, they have, in effect, already delayed the passing of a law that would ban the use of gross floor area in the sale of new flats.

So, now: chill out and get back to work.

Alice Wu is a political consultant and a former associate director of the Asia Pacific Media Network at UCLA

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