17 October 2018
Establishment camp lawmakers (top) and pro-Beijing groups (bottom) are seeking to block two newly-elected radical legislators from taking up their duties. Photos: HKEJ
Establishment camp lawmakers (top) and pro-Beijing groups (bottom) are seeking to block two newly-elected radical legislators from taking up their duties. Photos: HKEJ

Establishment camp plays ugly against Youngspiration

Perhaps it’s been too long since the pro-establishment camp has been in a Legco game that gets them really fired up. 

Having entered the arena, it is no surprise that the lawmakers want to play offense and try to win it all.

That said, the result is up in the air as the warriors haven’t been creative enough. They may have unleashed a new soap drama, but it is still being served up with pretty much the same sauce.

All eyes are now on the second Legco meeting and whether the pro-establishment camp can stop — or delay as much as possible — two young members of localist group Youngspiration from retaking their oath and enable them to officially become lawmakers.

After their first success, following a walkout tactic in the Legco, that prevented Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chun-hang from joining the house, the pro-Beijing camp is planning more filibustering action.

This time they intend to force the new Legco chairman, Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, to suspend his decision to allow the Youngpiration members to retake their oaths.

The seemingly parental punishment on the two “deviant” youngsters who joined a Taiwan forum over the weekend to share their thoughts on independence is being backed by political heavyweights such as Chief Secretary Carrie Lam and former Legco presidents Jasper Tsang and Rita Fan.

How difficult it will be for the new Legco chief to perform his duty is anybody’s guess, given the pro-establishment camp’s goal of suppressing anti-China voices.

The fate of the two young and inexperienced democratically-elected opposition lawmakers hangs in the balance.

There is no way Yau and Leung can fight in this rigged game that is controlled by the Beijing-blessed elite group.

To make it even worse, no one from the democratic camp speaks up for the young kids for fear that they would get into greater trouble.

Making fun of the State is inappropriate for sure, but it is not inexcusable. Otherwise, a Donald Trump would have faced the axe every day in the US for making outrageous political remarks.

Seizing on a mistake by the two Youngspiration members, whose modified oaths earlier this month triggered the need for fresh pledges by the legislators-elect, the pro-government camp is using the opportunity to extract revenge against the opposing radicals.

By preventing the oath-taking, Yau and Leung will be deprived of six-digit incomes as lawmakers. And matters could be escalated to such a level whereby by-elections could become necessary, offering a chance for the establishment to fill the seats with candidates more agreeable to Beijing.

For their game plan, the pro-establishment elite are borrowing tactics from their rivals from both inside and outside the Legco.

An alliance of 25 pro-Beijing groups will put up banners outside the Legco complex this Wednesday to condemn the localists for their independence views and anti-China rhetoric. There will be fresh calls for suspension of the two new legislators.

The establishment groups have apparently learnt from the tactics deployed by the opposition during their demonstrations in the past over issues such as school education curriculum proposals and the northeastern New Territories development plan.

Now, we may not be too far off from a situation where someone from the establishment camp will throw cups or bananas at others in the legislature.

And who knows, a radical democrat might speak up for Leung Chun-ying and make a case for his re-election.

For a change, it would seem that government supporters and opponents are switching sides as they get caught up in a twisted game.

The scene would have been funny had it not been tragic. After all, what everyone seems to be forgetting is this: getting on with their jobs as legislators in the newly-elected house.

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EJ Insight writer

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