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  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 8:22pm
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POLITICS

'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

wytlau
One country two systems is just exactly that. We expect mainland officials to adhere to HK laws when they visit HK and so it is also right that Long Hair should be expected to comply with PRC laws when on the mainland. He knew very well that Tiananmen is a blacklisted subject in PRC and would be a problem for mainland authorities.
Also the whole trip was about building trust on the issue universal suffrage not about other complaints of the PRC authorities. This incident has turned the whole trip into a sideshow and has jeopardised the meeting between the pan-democrats and the PRC authorities.
mercedes2233
Clearly Longhair 1. Has no respect for other countries' laws. Try bringing forbidden items to other countries, ie plant and animal products to Australia, apples to Tasmania, drugs to Indonesia or Singapore, etc., and you could face confiscation and penalties also. China has not behaved any less improperly than other countries in deciding its contraband. 2. Has no intention of dialogue with China from the start. What a lost opportunity for dialogue or getting-to-know-each other. 3. Set out deliberately to flout the laws, irritate the host, not negotiate anyway. His personal games are more important to him than what he should do for HK. He should not have been elected.
meoii
Long hair is a political public relations leech, stealing the lime light from other people’s agendas to climb up the PR ladder. He is treated like a celebrity in Hong Kong, a campaign visit from Long hair will up the ante and seek media attention. He’s the typical person who loves to pick fights, tear open deep old wounds, says no to every yes, and once he gets what he wants he just says “more”.
-
He’s the pain the as.s but he’s been doing well, very well in fact as he suckles from the frustration of HK complainers.
-
The only bad thing is he has no substance. He's great at stopping things, but there's no "what next" or no plan after seeking attention. What has he done to end universal suffrage? Stage more fasting PR events?
cleareye
Loser, and the same for those who voted for him.
r6b
I suspect he is smart enough to know the consequences of bringing a suitcase full of
propaganda to Shanghai. It seems to me his immediate return to HK, was pre-planned,
and for him its just another day of political theatrics, without having to actually accomplish
anything of value for anyone - except himself.
Sugelanren
Long Hair is a joker. The leadership elections are a serious matter and these little games do Hong Kong no good. I know China is not perfect but show some respect to your Hosts and stop trying to score points. It is not a game to play with our future.
But the democrats need to grow up and unite around a common view and a common leader if they are to make any progress at all. Start taking the future of Hong Kong seriously and unite.
whoaman
I voted twice for this joker back in the early days, but no more. He is just playing stupid games that might gain him votes from others that are just as shallow as he is, but I think he has been incredibly ineffective, because he lacks one key attribute - respect for others. The problem is that he will never be able to work with anyone in a pragmatic way, and he is also a hypocrite with his salary and public housing. Oh, and the ridiculous 'Che' T-shirts. He belongs in street protests, and nothing more.
Dai Muff
We are talking about information. Not drugs. And China is not "another country". It is "another system" (allegedly). Check your Basic Law.
Dai Muff
Considerably more than 689 votes.
andrewkt
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.

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