Hong Kong pan-dems now reap what they have sown

Opposition lawmakers who pledged ‘a struggle to the death’ have been mercilessly mocked by localists and they only have themselves to blame

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 December, 2017, 12:40am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 December, 2017, 1:07am

When opposition lawmakers called for an Occupy-like overnight rally against rewriting the rule book in the legislature, only a handful of supporters showed up.

Legislative Council security and police cleared the area in no time. So much for what they have called “a struggle to the death”.

More humiliating for the lawmakers is that instead of sympathy, they were mercilessly mocked – by localists.

Protesters camping outside Legco to fight rule changes removed

Wong Yuk-man, former lawmaker and “father of Legco filibustering”, might be expected to support the pan-dems’ efforts against curbing filibustering and other delay tactics in Legco.

Instead Wong spent no fewer than three segments on his online radio show ridiculing and shouting obscenities at them.

Ernie Chow Shue-fung, the former Chinese University student union president who acquired citywide notoriety on YouTube for shouting racial slurs at fellow mainland students, said the pan-dems had no credibility among street protesters. Chow, who also has his own radio show, labelled the pan-dems “Legco self-castrators and sinners of a thousand epochs”.

Lewis Loud, the English pseudonym of a localist who is sometimes called the pen of the radical movement because of his literary flair, took a more regretful tone.

“We came out for you during the Occupy protests (in 2014) … confronted the government over its development plans in the Northeastern New Territories … fought police to protect hawkers (during the 2016 Mong Kok riot),” he wrote on Facebook.

“You criticised our actions as too extreme … Many of us were put on trial and sent to jail, but we barely had any legal assistance … You insist on calling your own people ‘prisoners of conscience’, yet you never say a word about those of us who have been jailed.”

Pan-dems set up new panels to protest Legco rule changes

You can hardly blame the trio for their animosity. The last time the Legco rule book was rewritten in 2011, the pan-dems fully supported it. The major change was to extend the power of the Legco president to eject members from the chamber for misbehaviour to chairmen of Legco committees.

It was overwhelmingly voted in by the Civic Party’s Tanya Chan, Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, Alan Leong Kah-kit and Ronny Tong Ka-wah, and Democrats Albert Ho Chun-yan, Fred Li Wah-ming, James To Kun-sun, Emily Lau Wai-hing, Lee Wing-tat and Kam Nai-wai.

That rule change clearly aimed to shut up Wong and his filibustering partners Albert Chan Wai-yip and “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung.

Now the pan-dems are reaping what they have sown from radical localists.