On CY Leung’s case, Democrats are hypocrites

By putting undue pressure on the justice department to prosecute the former Hong Kong leader over allegations that he accepted improper payments, the opposition camp is challenging some of our core values

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 April, 2018, 12:12am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 April, 2018, 12:12am

We don’t have all the details about former chief executive Leung Chun-ying’s receipt of HK$50 million from Australian engineering firm UGL after he took office. We probably won’t ever get them unless he is put on trial.

But whether he has breached any law and warrants being charged should be a matter entirely up to the Department of Justice and the Independent Commission Against Corruption. 

That’s what the rule of law is all about, but apparently not so with the Democratic Party or its lawmaker, Lam Cheuk-ting.

The party has launched a crowdfunding campaign to bankroll an international investigation into the matter. It is hoping to raise HK$2 million to hire lawyers and accountants to search for incriminating evidence. 

CY Leung defiant as Democratic Party launches campaign to finance inquiry

Lam and his party colleagues have also filed legal advice to prosecutors urging them to charge Leung. Isn’t that putting improper pressure on independent prosecutors?

In our online age, you may call it justice by crowdfunding. But there is a traditional term for that: mob lynching. 

If that’s the legal strategy, no one is safe. I am not here to defend Leung, but we should let competent and independent legal authorities, not opposition politicians, decide whether to prosecute or not.

Lam should provide evidence that the ICAC and the justice department cannot be trusted. Instead, all he ever said was that he couldn’t accept any outcome that would get Leung off the hook. 

Now we know what the rule of law really means for Lam and his friends – only accept judgments or decisions that they favour.

CY Leung not out of the woods yet over HK$50m UGL deal

The opposition has been throwing a fit over criticisms from the pro-establishment bloc directed at University of Hong Kong law lecturer Benny Tai Yiu-ting over his remarks about the city’s independence and an end to one-party rule.

Tai’s critics have been denounced as Maoist red guards, a lynch mob, totalitarians and what not. Yet, they seem to be completely oblivious to what their own camp is doing when it comes to Leung. 

Understandably, so many of them despise Leung at such a gut level that they would probably cheer if he was literally lynched.

But what can we expect? It’s the same double standard from so many opposition politicians and their comrades – freedom of speech, but only for those who share their views; and the rule of law, but only if the outcome agrees with them.