• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 5:35am
CommentInsight & Opinion

Time for Legco radicals to grow up

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 May, 2014, 3:10am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 May, 2014, 3:10am

If school students shouted down an invited guest in the classroom, threw food and refused to budge when ordered to leave, there would most likely be a parental summons followed by immediate suspension, if not expulsion. The Legislative Council is not a school. But many people would see a classroom analogy in the disruption of proceedings by radical lawmakers during a visit by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying this week. This time it was several blameless lawmakers who suffered the consequences through missing their opportunity to question Leung.

For the first time, the Legco president suspended a chief executive's question-and-answer session to restore order, before finally cutting short the session. Tsang Yok-sing first ordered the removal of independent pan-democrat Wong Yuk-man for hurling insults, and then expelled People Power lawmakers Albert Chan Wai-yip, who hurled a bun in Leung's direction, and Raymond Chan Chi-chuen, and the League of Social Democrats' "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung. During a 15-minute suspension, "Long Hair" refused to leave.

To be sure, Leung Chun-ying provoked trouble by condemning radical lawmakers for their filibustering during the budget bill debate. After all, it is their maverick streak that appeals to many of the voters who put them in Legco. Like it or not, as long as so many trade-based, loyalist lawmakers fail to trouble the government with serious scrutiny, mavericks have a role to fill in holding officials and bureaucrats to account. For that very reason these mavericks should not diminish their role by overplaying it. Sadly, many people would empathise with the chief executive's description of the radicals as uncivilised.

The actions of Leung Kwok-hung and his fellow radicals send the wrong message to our younger generation about tolerance of unruly behaviour. Officials should also avoid trading insults with lawmakers. What we need is civilised debate and respect for each other's opinion. To extend the classroom analogy, "Long Hair" should set a good example by acknowledging it is time to grow up.

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This article is now closed to comments

DinGao
Which idiot decided years ago that, because of the doctrine of Free Speech, it was OK to allow members and visitors to wear slogan-bearing T shirts, display banners and wave placards about?
As to the throwing of objects, that is assault and should be liable to arrest and prosecution.
LegCo Free Speech should be restricted to speech as it is in any other respectable parliament elsewhere.
ianson
The respect for the opinions of others principle is a good one but hardly arises in the context of our legislature and, more particularly, the CE. The resort to buns is a calculated affront to our CE's right to express his opinions in the forum of the representatives of the people. The CE is a stooge appointee and, while entitled to his opinions, has no mandate to express them antagonistically before those who, in stark contradistinction, express (albeit through edible missiles) the will of a majority of voters in their constituencies. The true democrat, muzzled by yet attempting to function from within our illegitimate, undemocratic system is virtually bound to resort to this sort of harmless grandstanding. The sooner the legislative chamber and CE have true democratic mandates the better - then and only then can respect for opposing views be fairly put to the test. Meanwhile, SCMP, spare us your schoolmastering.
rpasea
Focusing on the method for electing the CE is a distraction from the more realistic and beneficial change of eliminating the FCs. Let BJ control the CE selection process but make Legco truly representative.
kctony
Silly article.
The only way to get them out is to ask the voters to ditch them.
tvleet
Hong Kong belongs to China. I am not sure what these radicals do not understand. Their lack of wisdom and intelligence cause them to focus on superficial matters. Instead of improving Hong Kong's relationship with China and to create a win-win situation, these morons insist on winning a fictitious battle while losing a major opportunity to build up our great Country. In the mean time, the whole Hong Kong image is destroyed by these idiots and we have to share in their incompetence. Do a check into their life history and you will see they are not your typical working class. Living mainly on tax payers' money.
parispam
The 3 rascals should be banned from entering into Legco! They are a disgrace to HK and completely against of what we represent as an international city! Freedom of speech yes but not throwing things at people when they don't think along with you or give you what you demand! Completely an act of a child!
BTW, I am sure majority of the HK people doesn't want a REVOLUTION but slowly and surely to a unique democracy system with China. So let's not waste time in so much publicity to these 3 rascals extreme ideas which are such a waste of time. Let's move on!
Stephan
LegCo: Hong Kong's Kindergarten!!!!!
johnwe
The Editorial which is inclined to the left anyway is far too generous to these troublemakers and cretinous group. These crude and uneducated people do not understand chiding, Mr Editor. They should be banned from LEGCO for specific periods like being bound over on bonds of good behavior. Don't talk to me about immunity.
The electorate keep electing them into LEGCO, they (the public must take the medicine that these idiots dole out almost every day under the guise of democracy and helping to govern the territory.

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