Pan-democrats must accept political reality in Legislative Council

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 July, 2017, 3:47pm
UPDATED : Monday, 31 July, 2017, 10:16pm

I write in response to the article, “Hong Kong pan-democrats list ways Carrie Lam could mend ties after ouster of four lawmakers” (July 16).

As a result of the High Court’s decision in the oath-taking saga, the pan-democrats will lose their majority in the geographical constituencies.

The pan-democrats are very worried that the government may now seize the opportunity and pass controversial laws in favour of the central government, such as Article 23 of the Basic Law. Legislator Eddie Chu Hoi-dick even called such a ruling political repression against the legislature and offered several suggestions for Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to act to mend fences with the pan-democrats.

However, I believe that there is little she can do even if she is determined to improve her relationship with the pan-democrats. The decision to go to court was made by Leung Chun-ying’s administration. It is not political repression as the ruling is largely based on the interpretation made by the National People’s Congress.

Waiving legal fees is not feasible as it involves a large sum of money and Mrs Lam is unlikely to make an exception which could prove costly. She will also probably hold all the by-elections at the same time, including the four disqualified lawmakers with the two who were previously disqualified.

However, Mrs Lam must take note of the opinions of the majority of voters. Even if the pan-democrats do not enjoy as much influence in Legco as they once did, they enjoy the support of many citizens.

If the Hong Kong government does not take note of public opinion, we will see a lot more protests with no end in sight. There should be consultations with different stakeholders to ensure the involvement of civil society in the law-making process.

The pan-democrats now have to try to regain their political influence by campaigning in the by-elections.

Unfortunately, they are unlikely to win all the seats and will not restore their majority in the geographical constituencies. They will have to live with that and also accept that their behaviour during the oath-taking ceremony in the Legislative Council chamber was disrespectful.

Dickson Yiu, Mid-Levels