My Take

Pan-democrats Leong and Chan must apologise for their offensive remarks

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 July, 2015, 4:49am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 July, 2015, 4:49am

Pan-democrats who call Leung Chun-ying a mental patient have crossed the line.

The comparison they make about the chief executive is too insulting - to mental patients.

It's socially irresponsible and insensitive. Whatever problems and shortcomings Leung has, it's apples and oranges to compare them to the suffering of serious mental patients and their families.

In accusing Leung of failing to honour his pledge to improve relations with the Legislative Council, People Power's Albert Chan Wai-yip said: "Leung Chun-ying, that mental patient..."

Levelling the same criticism, Alan Leong Kah-kit of the Civic Party said: "Mr Leung ... appears to be suffering from psychosis." Does Leong know for a fact that the chief executive is psychotic? Leong is a barrister, not a doctor or a psychiatrist. He certainly has no training in clinical diagnosis.

I have no problem with pan-democrats playing politics. That's all most of them are good for anyway. But to make a comparison with a highly disadvantaged group in society to score a few political points and to make a sound bite is reprehensible. The occasion that triggered the ridicule was Leung's request to Legco's Finance Committee to hold extra meetings to approve HK$39 million - a pittance really in the government's budget - to set up his baby, the innovation and technology bureau.

He wanted the money before Legco started the summer recess. It's been delayed for three years, and it's something he personally feels strongly about. This is not to mention that he felt he had already compromised when he agreed to move the funding request from the top to the bottom of the committee's agenda last week. No doubt he was hoping for a quid pro quo from the pan-dems. But you know Leong and Chan. Compromise is not part of their vocabulary, and their idea of negotiation is to insult.

Well, that's OK if it was targeted only at Leung: such things come with the job. But to compare him to with a mental patient? Imagine how people would react if Leong and Chan had said Leung was behaving like a woman. In the same way, their comments are highly inappropriate for mental patients.

They owe such patients and their families a public apology.