Donald Tsang

'Long Hair' gets in early with protest at lawmakers' banquet

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 September, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 September, 2005, 12:00am

'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung was last night thrown out of the banquet to which all 60 lawmakers had been invited to meet Zeng Qinghong.

He found a face-saving way of staging his protest - yelling for more democracy as Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen was about to speak. He got his message out while avoiding the severe embarrassment that would have been caused had he chosen to wait and interrupt the vice-president.

Mr Leung said he was manhandled by six or seven security guards just before the dinner at the Island Shangri-la in Admiralty began about 6pm.

As Mr Tsang was about to deliver his speech, the outspoken legislator shouted: 'End one-party rule, return power to the people and reverse the verdict on June 4.'

Outside the hotel, Mr Leung explained: 'I felt worried that I might be removed when the vice-president spoke, so I took the opportunity early to express my views on behalf of those who voted for me.'

When 'Long Hair' began shouting, first in Cantonese, then in Putonghua, Mr Tsang and Mr Zeng remained composed, with the vice-president wearing a broad smile.

The chief executive stood in silence until Mr Leung was removed from the venue, while other guests murmured to each other, expressing annoyance at yet another disruption caused by Long Hair.

Mr Leung said the organisers had placed him at a table where the press could not see him.

'They do not want my face to get on television,' he said. 'The vice-president said he wanted to listen to different voices, and I want to tell him what the majority in Hong Kong are thinking. It is shameful that they kicked me out like that.'

Mr Leung also complained that he was forced to take off his T-shirt which carried a slogan reading: 'Revert verdict on June 4'. He wore another shirt, carrying an image of revolutionary Che Guevara

Earlier, police and protesters clashed outside the hotel when members of the April 5th Action Group, carrying a black coffin, approached the venue.

The coffin was confiscated but nobody was arrested.