19 February 2019
Sixtus Baggio Leung (foreground) and Yau Wai-ching say they have done nothing wrong and will not apologize for their Legco antics last Wedneday. Photo: HKEJ
Sixtus Baggio Leung (foreground) and Yau Wai-ching say they have done nothing wrong and will not apologize for their Legco antics last Wedneday. Photo: HKEJ

How Youngspirations became a hot target by Beijing loyalists

Leung Chun-ying went all the way to the High Court to try to stop legislators-elect Sixtus Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching from being allowed to retake their oath.

The chief executive’s lawyers argued that the two Youngspiration stalwarts don’t deserve a second chance after they made a mockery of the oath of office and insulted China.  

At their swearing-in last Wednesday, the duo unfurled a banner that said “Hong Kong is not China” and Baggio Leung pronounced China “Chee-na”, a derogatory term used by the Japanese during the war.

However, the High Court ruled against a temporary injunction, clearing the way for Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching to be inducted into office again on Wednesday.

(They were unable to take their oath after a walkout by pro-establishment legislators denied the chamber a quorum.)

The court did grant leave to Leung Chun-ying’s lawyers and the Department of Justice to file a judicial review.

Leung Chun-ying was challenging Legco President Andrew Leung’s decision to give five lawmakers-elect — including Baggio Leung and Yau — a second chance after their oaths were declared invalid.

Leung preceded the legal action with a withering criticism of the Youngspiration pair for their grandstanding.

Also, more than 1,000 teachers and politicians joined an online petition to force the two to recognize that Hong Kong is part of China and to make a public apology.

In a breathtaking response, Beijing mouthpiece Ta Kung Pao devoted 17 pages in a 24-page first section on articles critical of Youngspiration.

The pages featured advertisements by leading pro-Beijing  organizations.

The government’s move was clearly a form of intervention in the affairs of Legco.

Note that Legco has the power to decide on matters pertaining to the conduct of its members.

Under its rules of procedure, members can bring disciplinary action against fellow-members.

In the case of the retake of the oath of office, Andrew Leung required only that the concerned legislators-elect make such request and that Baggio Leung and Yau should make theirs in writing.

On Monday, Baggio Leung said he was ready to read out the official version even if it’s against his principles if only to keep his seat.

But both Leung ang Yau insisted they have done nothing wrong and they will not apologize.

Clearly, this sorry challenge by Leung Chun-ying is an attempt to disqualify Baggio Leung and Yau, never mind that they were democratically elected by thousands of their constituents.

It’s ironic that Leung Chun-ying himself has faced calls to step down but remains unmoved like a rock.

Interestingly, he was elected by little more than half of a 1,200-strong election committee in 2012 and confirmed by Beijing.

We might have seen a one-time attempt by the government to get rid of unfriendly legislators while it could.

But as we have seen, who knows what it might decide to do next now that its pro-Beijing allies have found a new target in Youngspiration.

Need further proof “one country, two systems” is wilting? 

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EJ Insight writer

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