My Take
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 December, 2012, 3:50am

CY deserves flak, but let's move on

BIO

Alex Lo is a senior writer at the South China Morning Post. He writes editorials and the daily “My Take” column on page 2. He also edits the weekly science and technology page in Sunday Morning Post.
 

How far should Hong Kong people pursue Leung Chun-ying over the illegal structures found at his Peak home? For the pan-democrats, there is no limit. They are planning a march against the chief executive on Sunday, and a vote of no confidence and impeachment procedure in the legislature.

Leung has now agreed to appear before Legco to answer questions as early as next week. Contrary to the pan-dems' claims, there are few unanswered questions; we know pretty much all we need to know. The appearance will be an occasion for humiliation and self-flagellation for Leung, and he deserves it. Perhaps if he acts candid and contrite enough, he will be forgiven. But I doubt it.

The pan-dems have found this bone to sink their teeth in so deeply they cannot let go, at least not until they find a juicier bone - another "scandal" to humiliate and obstruct the government. Should the public support them?

Practically, there is virtually no chance Leung would resign voluntarily or be forced out through impeachment procedures. The pan-dems don't even have the numbers - in terms of lawmakers' support - to launch an impeachment investigation, let alone force a vote. So this whole threat is, as they love to accuse officials of doing, just for a political show.

Legally, the illegal structures do not really qualify as "serious breach of law or dereliction of duty", as required by the Basic Law under Article 73 to initiate impeachment proceedings.

Morally, the pan-dems can claim the high ground and Leung deserves to take it all on the chin. Leung was elected as the dark horse in the chief executive race partly because of the inept way Henry Tang Ying-yen had handled the media exposé of illegal structures at his home, and Leung capitalised on it.

But what is the end game for the pan-dems? When is the public interest no longer served? Where should we draw the line?

Leung should answer as honestly and forthrightly as possible before Legco, and accept the public humiliation with humility. After that, we should move on to attend to far greater problems facing Hong Kong today.

There is, of course, no chance of that happening - not when the pan-dems are running the show.

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