Leung Chun-ying

Radical lawmaker Wong Yuk-man set a bad example attacking Hong Kong leader CY Leung

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 October, 2015, 12:52am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 October, 2015, 5:40pm

With tensions between Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and pan-democratic lawmakers still running high, the recent question-and-answer session in the Legislative Council was bound to see fireworks. That, however, is no reason for hurling insults. The question asked of Leung by radical lawmaker Wong Yuk-man clearly went too far.

Wong and his allies are well known for their unruly theatrics. His threat to throw petrol bombs during a verbal clash with Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor two years ago shocked many. In August, he appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to one count of common assault, after he threw an empty glass across the chamber during a Legco session with Leung last year.

This time, Wong got personal. He attacked the chief executive's character and job performance before wrapping up with a blunt question: "When will you die? My constituents want me to ask."

Watch: Radical pro-democracy lawmaker Wong Yuk-man's temper flares asking Chief Executive "When will you die?"

Legco's rules of procedures prohibit the use of offensive and insulting language. Intriguingly, Legco President Jasper Tsang Yok-sing did not rule the question out of order, saying it was just "political dialogue" which, in his opinion, Leung could handle.

Indeed, Leung seemed to have handled the question well, replying with a reference from a line of poetry by Mao Zedong : "Having too many grumbles is detrimental to health." Leung then went on to wish Wong a long life.

WHAT HAPPENED: ‘When will you die?’: Hong Kong leader CY Leung sidesteps radical lawmaker’s question about his lifespan

There are those who dislike the chief executive and Wong is certainly among them. But that does not mean hurling insults is acceptable.

Widely reported on TV and other media, Wong has set a bad example for young people. The opportunity could have been used to challenge Leung on a wide range of social, political and economic issues that people care about.

If Wong and his supporters do not want Leung to stay in office, he could have asked whether Leung would resign or refrain from seeking a second term. Instead, the question asked never had a chance of receiving a useful, or even meaningful, reply.