Raymond Wong Yuk Man

League lawmaker angry at his party's apology

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 January, 2011, 12:00am

Lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip is furious at his own party, the League of Social Democrats, for apologising for remarks he made in a Legislative Council meeting without his approval.

The New Territories West legislator said the apology amounted to suppression of dissent, saying he was not informed before it was issued.

The dispute is the latest in a series of rows between two factions within the radical group, one led by chairman Andrew To Kwan-hang and another by former chairman Wong Yuk-man. Chan is an ally of Wong.

At the chief executive's question and answer session with lawmakers last Thursday, Chan mentioned internal rifts within the league.

He said no one from the party told them to shut up when they threw bananas in the Legco chamber and called on senior officials to step down.

Yet when it was revealed that someone from his party visited a nightclub, drove a car while drunk and had a car crash, he was told to shut up.

In a statement yesterday, the league said it received complaints from many party members and citizens about Chan's comments.

'In past question and answer questions with the chief executive, the league has made use of television broadcast opportunities to protest against ridiculous systems and injustice, and to speak out for democracy and people's livelihood,' it read.

'But Mr Chan used the occasion to attack colleagues, falsely implicate colleagues and keep smearing [them].

'This falls short of citizens' expectations of the league's legislative councillors.'

'The league apologises to the public for the misbehaviour of the honourable Albert Chan Wai-yip.'

Chan hit back, saying the league leadership had suppressed members' right to voice dissenting views. 'There were members who insulted [Nobel Peace Prize laureate] Liu Xiaobo and [tainted-milk activist] Zhao Lianhai at a barbecue. Why doesn't the league issue a statement to condemn them, but instead it stirs up a minor incident?' he said.

Vice-chairman Avery Ng Man-yuen said more than 10 members and voters had complained that Chan's remark was inappropriate.

He said the statement was published after more than half of the league's executive committee members expressed agreement.