22 October 2016
Two youngsters sing "Basic Dafa is Good" in this satirical video produced by Youngspiration. Photo: Facebook/Youngspiration
Two youngsters sing "Basic Dafa is Good" in this satirical video produced by Youngspiration. Photo: Facebook/Youngspiration

Is this another bid to turn HK people into Beijing loyalists?

Who ever said our young democrats do not abide by the Basic Law?

Political party Youngspiration, which is fielding candidates in the Legislative Council elections this September, has produced a video in praise of the Basic Law, the mini-constitution that provides for China’s sovereignty over Hong Kong.

Beijing and its loyalists in the territory should be jumping for joy.

Here are the kids who have been accused of advocating independence for Hong Kong, but this video shows them describing the constitutional document as “good” and “great”.

So why should the government go to great lengths, even forcing would-be candidates to sign a form declaring their allegiance to the Basic Law, when it is very clear from this video that they subscribe to its provisions?

Oops … it turns out that the music video cum comic sketch is actually a satire, peppered with intentional grammatical lapses and Cantonese foul language.

The song “Basic Dafa is Good (The Great Basic Law is Good)” is a hilarious take on the theme song of Stephen Chow’s hit comedy flick “Shaolin Soccer”, with the lyrics changed to enjoin everyone to respect the Basic Law.

The song says: “The Basic Law is great, the Basic Law is Ging (勁)”, and Hong Kong people must abide by it without having to ask why.

Emerging from the Occupy Movement in late 2014, Youngspiration has been on the front line of the struggle against Beijing rule in Hong Kong.

The youthful political party believes that independence is an option that Hong Kong people must discuss for the future of the city.

Their song “Basic Dafa is Good” is their reaction to a requirement by the Electoral Affairs Commission for candidates to the Legco election to sign a form declaring their allegiance to the Basic Law.

At least three Legco candidates have received emails from election officials asking them if they accept Hong Kong as an inseparable part of China and if they won’t express any contrary view.

They are Edward Leung Tin-kei of Hong Kong Indigenous, Andy Chan Ho-tin of Hong Kong National Party, and Alvin Cheng Kam-mun of Civic Passion, three activists who support Hong Kong’s independence from China.

These inquiries being made by the election officials are undermining existing election rules because new requirements are being issued to ensure that only candidates who accept Beijing’s rule over Hong Kong will run in the election.

These impositions are a form of political censorship designed to muzzle those who hold views that challenge the current regime.

From the perspective of common law, anything that is not expressly provided in the law cannot be considered as illegal unless there is a court judgment that says so.

These candidates have shown that they have sufficient public nomination and met the basic requirements to be qualified as candidates.

That should be enough to consider them as legitimate candidates for the upcoming elections.

Why do the election officials have to check the background of the candidates, such as the speeches they made in the past, in a bid to determine their political stance?

That is no different from a screening mechanism that will ban candidates who believe in Hong Kong independence from running in the elections.

The SAR government led by Leung Chun-ying is once again using the city’s legal system to achieve Beijing’s political goals.

But it’s a political issue and it should be settled by the government rather than shift the responsibility to the judicial system.

Once again, the courts are caught between the interests of Hong Kong and China.

While the court may be an appropriate venue for the general public to seek for justice in the face government abuse of power, the government shouldn’t leave it to the courts to settle a political deadlock between Hong Kong and China.

The government should act to bridge the gap by reaching a consensus on the democracy roadmap for Hong Kong.

A consensus is far better than limiting the freedom of expression of Hong Kong people and banning those who are opposed to Communist Party rule from participating in the elections.

The introduction of the “declaration form” to prove a candidate’s loyalty to Beijing authorities marks a significant shift from the “one country, two systems” principle.

Hong Kong people used to take for granted their freedom to think independently as they have enjoyed it since the British colonial rule.

However, the “declaration” requirement has opened the door for authorities to check on the political loyalties of Hong Kong people, putting it on top of professional qualifications and capabilities.

That would make Hong Kong a city of politically blind loyalists, and drive away talents and outperformers who are not Communist supporters.

The Legco used to be the last bastion of hope for Hong Kong people who want democrats and members of the opposition camp to speak for them and strictly monitor government abuse of power, as well as to defend the core values of Hong Kong.

However, the new requirement is setting another bar for the entry of legislators.  

It is clear that the government will not tolerate candidates who are supporting Hong Kong independence, even if they are not doing any action – other than talk – to promote their cause.

Some quarters believe that Beijing is taking a softer stance toward Hong Kong democrats before the election, as shown during the visit of Zhang Dejiang visit in May.

But the other side is actually the truth.

Most Hong Kong people accept “one country, two systems” because of realistic considerations.

But don’t forget many Hong Kong people fled China to escape the Communist Party rule in 1949 and the Cultural Revolution in the ’60s and ’70s.

Should all of them confirm their loyalty to China before they could continue enjoying social welfare in Hong Kong?

If the SAR government can ban Edward Leung from running in the Legco elections simply because he voiced out his belief in Hong Kong independence, even if he has not pursued any action in furtherance of his belief, can it also ban ordinary Hong Kong people from voting because they don’t like the Communist Party?

If this thing goes on, can we honestly say that “one country, two systems” is being implemented in Hong Kong? Do we really have “two systems”?

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EJ Insight writer

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