• Tue
  • Sep 23, 2014
  • Updated: 11:25pm
NewsHong Kong

'Long Hair's' aborting of trip to Shanghai lays bare pan-democrat divide

Radical's decision to quit Legco trip to Shanghai lays bare rift in camp

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 April, 2014, 5:08am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 April, 2014, 7:35am

"Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung's decision to abort his trip to Shanghai laid bare a rift in the pan-democratic camp.

Nowhere is the split more apparent than in the Civic Party. Its leader, Alan Leong Kah-kit, called off plans to join the trip over what he called the "unacceptable" treatment of Leung, who returned to Hong Kong on Friday on being told by immigration officials that he would have to surrender materials banned on the mainland in order to enter.

But Leong's party colleague, Ronny Tong Ka-wah, took part in most scheduled visits yesterday along with Beijing loyalists.

Two other Civic Party lawmakers, Kwok Ka-ki and Dennis Kwok, skipped official events and gave out fliers on reform for the 2017 chief executive election - the key topic of the visit - to Hongkongers in the city.

Dennis Kwok said Tong had disappointed him: "After all, we all want to do the thing well. It would be better if there's more team spirit."

Labour Party lawmakers Cyd Ho Sau-lan and Peter Cheung Kwok-che also returned to Hong Kong in sympathy with Leung.

Leung, chairman of the League of Social Democrats, flew back to Hong Kong after insisting he keep items related to the June 4 crackdown, including leaflets and a banned book on the Communist Party. Leung has long been barred from the mainland, but was invited to join the trip along with all other lawmakers.

Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, president of the Legislative Council, who is leading the delegation, said it was a pity Leong withdrew.

The withdrawals mean only 10 pan-democrats, along with 42 others, will meet Wang Guangya, director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Basic Law Committee chairman Li Fei and liaison office chief Zhang Xiaoming for talks today on reform.

Tong, who has been at odds with other pan-democrats after putting forward a reform plan for 2017 that would not allow the public to nominate candidates for chief executive, said he was not in Shanghai to make a political statement.

"I will stay until the last minute … This would be my decision even if my party colleagues shared a different view," he said. He ruled out quitting the party.

Leong questioned whether the central government was willing to accommodate differences.

"Leung's is a dissenting voice, and our call for public nomination is as much a dissenting voice," he said. "If there's a lack of sincerity, there wouldn't be much meaning in the meeting."

Other pan-democrats - including Democrats Sin Chung-kai and Helena Wong Pik-wan - stayed but snubbed most visits. Wong said she would raise the Leung case with officials.


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This article is now closed to comments

I think the Central government has succeeded in dividing the pan-democrats ever since the Democratic party walked into the Central govt liaison office for the negotiation of political reform back in 2010.
The headline here says: "'Long Hair's' aborting of trip to Shanghai lays bare pan-democrat divide."
May I request SCMP to add this byline:
Many Hong Kongers are of this opinion: "Had we the time machine, we would like to travel back in time to become Leung Kwok Hung's mother OBGYN and to abort the foetus yet to be born."
John Adams
As someone who has travelled almost every week to the Mainland on business for the past 25 + years I can vouch for the fact the fact that PRC immigration and customs checks are only enforced for THE most stupid people / smugglers ..
This therefore ranks long hair as one of the THE most stoopid people in HK, if not the world
To turn down a serious debate with the PRC authorities in favor of a publicity stunt ...! ?
We are ONE COUNTRY ( two systems) by grace only.
Otherwise we are simply just ONE COUNTRY.
Like it or leave it.
I (personally) like it
No intention ever to move
(except maybe to the Mainland itself - wonderful country/ wonderful people)
And judging by what I know of the PRC from 25 years , I would far rather live under the PRC than under any western nation, least of all the USA.
So Long Live China !
PS @ Long Hair et al. : The PRC has in recent years got (or is getting) things right .
You pro-dems lost the plot several years ago.
Good riddance to you all. Idiots and clowns all
I now vote DAB ! At least the DAB thinks clearly
Wonderfully written and right to the point. The cave man should return to his cave .
A n idiot who want to derail the Central Governmet goodwill. Why don't he goes to Saudi Arabia and bring some alcohol or to Malaysia and bring some drugs or to Singapore and bring a pistol?
I am sure if he did, he would fall down on his knees begging for China help!
He knew he could not throw banana or egg during the visit. That's why he purposely brought banned items so that he has an excuse to return to HK (but acted as if it was not his false not to go to Shanghai). Very intelligent indeed.
Chinese laws are inhuman and oppressive, that's the point Long Hair is trying to make. Why can't we bring Tiananmen related leaflets into China? Because China has no freedom of speech, and Hong Kongers should remember that, we are ruled by the big oppressive daddy, and negotiations with autocratic communist governments will end in disappointment. Its time to stand our moral ground, and stick with Hong Konger's principles of freedom and rule of law. Don't get lured by the economic carrots offered by Beijing, its all fake, just look at how their ruined HK since the handover.
Stop drinking water and not eating food imported from China. Better yet, cut your nose to spite your face and leave Hong Kong altogether.
If we are freer to speak our minds than people in most democracies, aren't you a paranoid schizophrenic when you claim we are ruled by people up north? Maybe you should consult a shrink before you write again.
Why don't you bring Ivory to Hong Kong and see how humane you will be treated.
Why can't we bring apples into Tasmania, drugs into Singapore and Indonesia, plant and animal products into Australia? Because they said so. And being rude to a host is no way to behave particularly when the host made such a conciliatory gesture. You don't enter the UK and at the border question Britain for allowing the deaths of the Irish people during the Potato Famine, and you don't enter the US praising the 911 destruction of the Twin Towers and the works of Osama bin Laden. See how far that would get you, and you would appreciate that China did not haul the hairy ape into prison.




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