A pro-establishment lawmaker said on Sunday that localist groups such as Demosisto, which advocate self-determination, should be outlawed the same way as the Hong Kong National Party (HKNP) was.
In RTHK’s televised programme City Forum, legislator and Basic Law Committee member Priscilla Leung Mei-fun said calling for self-determination is equivalent to promoting the city’s independence, so groups who support those ideals should be banned.
In the context of international law, self-determination is not applicable to Hong Kong because it is not a sovereign country, Leung added.
“Hong Kong does not have sovereignty, so self-determination should not be encouraged.”
Leung also criticised the Hong Kong government for “acting like a coward” because it did not take immediate action against groups that promote self-determination and independence.
“The government should have rejected the registration of localist and separatist groups to deliver a clear message that under the principle of ‘one country, two systems’, both the Basic Law and local laws do not allow any group the fantasy of achieving self-determination or independence.”
Last month, HKNP was banned by the government on grounds of national security and public order under the Societies Ordinance. Leung said any form of assistance to HKNP, such as financial aid or provision of manpower and technology, may be considered a violation of the law.
Asked whether sharing HKNP’s posts on social media is illegal, Leung said: “If the message conveys independence ideals and is published by illegal groups, then sharing the message is equal to broadcasting the ideals for the group, and is against the law.”
Another speaker, Alan Leong Kah-kit, chairman of the Civic Party, pointed out the law is unclear and can be easily used by authorities to “scare off the public”.
Leong warned the unprecedented clampdown on HKNP would worry pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong.
“Today the authority bans independence; tomorrow self-determination is prohibited; then chanting ‘end one-party dictatorship’ is forbidden the day after tomorrow; perhaps sooner or later attending the June 4 candlelight vigil will be against the law, too. The authority can move the red line [any way they want].”