Those who expected a political spectacle in the new Legislative Council were certainly not disappointed. The past few weeks have indeed been farcical.
When two newly elected members from Youngspiration, Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chung-hang, first took their oaths in Legco, they pronounced China as “Chee-na”, which sounded like the derogatory Shina used by Japan during wartime. Yau was even accused of using foul language while saying “People’s Republic of China”. Many people were angry about this.
The question is: if Yau and Leung had been democratically elected by those who supported Hong Kong’s independence, were they right to convey the anti-China sentiments of the radicals? I think it is wrong to use the oath as a tool for “political resistance” and assume that their actions have been approved by voters.
I am not saying that the swearing-in ceremony is sacred – the problem is that it’s foolish to declare your “political standpoint” in such a way. It is basically not a legitimate means of “resistance” and has nothing to do with supporting self-determination. Most importantly, the pair’s behaviour showed blatant disrespect towards a sovereign nation. Using bad language when calling a country’s name is offensive to its people, even if we don’t identify with that nation.
What’s more, most people may have voted for Yau and Leung simply because they oppose the present administration, not because they support Youngspiration’s localism campaign. Voters expect the duo to challenge the government and pro-establishment camps, rather than merely chant slogans and be possibly ousted from Legco.
Their refusal to apologise also reflects a lack of maturity. They should have accepted the blame for making a wrong decision, similar to what Occupy Central co-founder Benny Tai Yiu-ting did after this year’s Legco election. Tai conceded that problems in his voting scheme ThunderGo may have led to the defeat of several pan-democrats in the polls. Youngispiration needs to show such sophistication, if they are to be regarded as a responsible political party.
Their actions gave Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying an excuse to request for a judicial review which, if successful, would bar Sixtus Leung and Yau from Legco. However, while the court has declined to grant an injunction to prevent the two Youngspiration politicians from retaking their oaths, a walkout by the pro-establishment camp prevented the pair from doing so.
The legislators’ ploy was a sad violation of the rule of law – they showed little regard for the court’s decision to recognise one’s right to take one’s oath a second time. It is like taking matters into your own hands when the judiciary does not rule in your favour.
The legislature is already embroiled in hostility and controversy even before any proposals have been submitted to the councillors for their approval. It seems to me that they are better at playing political games than doing any productive work. I sincerely hope that I am wrong.