Legco is not a kindergarten, so let’s leave the temper tantrums and childish posturing aside

With real issues to go after and real scandals to expose, our lawmakers shouldn’t waste time with infantile behaviour

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 October, 2016, 12:51am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 October, 2016, 12:51am

It was embarrassing to watch. “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung and Abraham Razack fought over a microphone. One newly elected young localist waved a protest banner like she was doing a striptease and used what sounded like swear words in reading her oath. Another pronounced China as “Chee-na”, a variation on the derogatory term Shina used by Japanese occupation forces during the second world war.

To top it all off, most of the pan-democrat lawmakers tore up their voting papers for electing the Legco president and threw the pieces into the air like confetti.

When Sixtus Baggio Leung Chun-hang of the localist party Youngspiration was asked why he said “Chee-na” when he delivered his oath in English, he excused himself by claiming he had “an Ap Lei Chau accent”. There is no such accent, any more than there is a “Hong Kong nation”, a fictitious entity to which Leung and fellow localist Yau Wai-ching swore allegiance in their oath.

Yau and Leung were rightly disqualified from taking up their Legco duties. They also unfurled a banner that said “Hong Kong is not China”. That’s true in the sense that Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen are not China, but they are all parts of China. You may challenge the Chinese communist state but let’s not insult the Chinese nation and the Chinese people.

Hong Kong government accuses localist lawmakers of hurting feelings of Chinese with ‘offensive’ oath-taking

Some of us had hoped that the youngsters – the so-called umbrella soldiers – would learn to act like adults when they formed political parties and entered the Legislative Council. As it turned out, entering the new legislature was more like the first day of kindergarten. Civic Passion’s Cheng Chung-tai was the only localist who read the oath as it was written. “I don’t think the way I take the oath today would amount to any effective resistance,” he said.

Exactly, a voice of reason! Don’t sweat over the procedural stuff. By threatening to paralyse Legco, young radicals will just further delegitimise a legislature for which many people already have a low regard. They have to decide whether they just want to crash the party or do something useful.

There are bigger fish to fry, fat cats to go after. Independent Eddie Chu Hoi-dick has almost single-handedly managed to put the Heung Yee Kuk on the defensive and exposed the government’s shady dealings with the kuk’s strongmen in the New Territories.

Expose real scandals; don’t just throw temper tantrums in the Legco chamber.