Legislative Council of Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s oath drama must end, and it’s time to boo its two villains off the political stage

Alice Wu has had enough of the brouhaha over the oath-taking by two lawmakers. Now they’ve been disqualified, Hong Kong should focus on the electoral battles ahead

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 November, 2016, 11:01am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 November, 2016, 10:57am

If you’re tired of all the politics, I feel you. It’s draining, to say the least, especially when the melodrama in Hong Kong is dragging out; it has become downright dreadful when we know there is no respite in sight.

We were supposed to have a brief break after last September’s Legislative Council polls, before the next big event. Even though a large number of people will be unable to cast a vote in the Election Committee subsector elections, less than a month away, and in the chief executive election, scheduled for late March next year, the city should by now be focusing on what’s ahead.

But, thanks to the two recently disqualified lawmakers, who lacked the necessary knowledge, ability and respect for oath-taking, our (albeit dysfunctional) legislature has basically been shut down for a month. The ugly politics that should have been insulated within the chamber once again spilled out onto our streets.

Forget about localism, now it’s narcissism that’s at play

And what should have been decided and concluded on September 4 is now dragging on indefinitely, with two or possibly more by-elections added to the election overload.

Hell-raising politics is not going away any time soon, but the sheer stupidity of the localist pair’s actions really is one for the books – Macbeth, in fact:

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, / Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, / To the last syllable of recorded time, / And all our yesterdays have lighted fools / The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! / Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player / That struts and frets his hour upon the stage / And then is heard no more. It is a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing.

They were indeed full of sound and fury, and they did nothing for the common good.

What they did opened the door for an invitation to the courts to intervene. What they did presented an opportunity for an interpretation of the Basic Law by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee.

Young and dangerous: localist lawmakers have done great damage to Hong Kong

A lesson for Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching: double standards and hypocrisy don’t win respect

What they did, ultimately, may well become the precedent for other legislators to be similarly barred. And that is why the duo’s pledge to spend every penny – and lest we forget, this also means the mounting cost to the public purse – to “appeal at all costs” is beyond rich, coming from them.

Clearly, they have yet to wrap their heads around the concept of “personal responsibility”. Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang is wrong in believing that their disqualification from Legco rendered the election meaningless. They have no one but themselves to blame for their defenestration. It is they who made the election meaningless.

And, to add insult to the grave injury they brought on the rest of us, they are asking for donations. At some point – if we’re not there already – we must take serious offence to be taken as fools, again and again. The curtain must now be drawn on this overly played-out second act.

The link between Hong Kong’s oath saga and Henry VIII’s marital problems

The irony may be lost on the pair but it’s pretty obvious who has been played for total fools. In case they haven’t noticed, the lawmakers who served as the duo’s chaperones have stopped babysitting them because there is no value in being their keepers any more. Escorting the duo’s Legco gate-crashing attempts served their purpose: to usher the two straight to their political end, and the votes the two rendered meaningless are now political spoils.

The two took the toxic brew and there will be no stay of execution that could stop those ready to contest their seats.

We must fight our political fatigue. We can ill afford to be distracted by those who continuously try to foolishly make their own stupid mistakes our collective problem.

Alice Wu is a political consultant and a former associate director of the Asia Pacific Media Network at UCLA