21 August 2019
What will be Leung Chun-ying's next move against Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching? Photo: Bloomberg, HKEJ
What will be Leung Chun-ying's next move against Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching? Photo: Bloomberg, HKEJ

Upcoming Legco by-election will be an Armageddon

Things have taken a sudden and nasty turn over the past week as far as the oath-taking saga is concerned.

Since what is done is done and we can’t turn back the clock, I prefer not to waste my time playing Monday morning quarterback.

Rather, I would like to look at the future and focus on the by-election following the disqualification of the Youngspiration duo.

In my opinion, the upcoming by-election could amount to an even more profound and decisive referendum than the Legco by-election back in March on whether our city should seek full independence.

In other words, there is still a silver lining to the removal of Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching from office, as the by-election they trigger can provide a very good opportunity for the people of Hong Kong to make their voices heard and show their support for the pro-independence cause.

The latest interpretation of Article 104 of the Basic Law by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) did not mention anything about the by-election, nor did it say in no uncertain terms that those who have been disqualified cannot run again.

On the surface it might appear to be a sign of Beijing’s leniency, but in fact it is not at all, because the party officials in Beijing know very well that Leung and Yau won’t stand the slightest chance of getting elected in the by-election under our proportional representation system.

Nor did the NPCSC’s interpretation touch on the legal grounds based on which Edward Leung Tin-kei representing the Hong Kong Indigenous was barred from running for Legco earlier, perhaps because Beijing didn’t want to be too explicit about its power to make the SAR government vet Legco election candidates based on their political ideology in order to limit the scope of this interpretation and minimize public backlash.

From Beijing’s point of view, that can easily be done without having to invoke any law, such as by means of demanding that all candidates sign a written statement pledging to uphold the Basic Law.

So is the Leung Chun-ying administration likely to bar the Youngspiration duo from running in the upcoming by-election the way they barred Edward Leung from running in the September election?

I don’t think so, because it doesn’t have to.

Like I said, under the proportional representation system, the pro-independence faction, which only has a 20 percent public support, stands absolutely no chance of winning.

Besides, it remains a big “if” whether the duo will be taking part in the by-election, as I believe the washed-up and crooked pan-democrats would do whatever they could to talk them out of running so that they could send their own candidates to take their places.

In exchange, they might promise to root for them in the next Legco election.

Whether or not the duo will run again is not the key issue here. Instead, what matters most is that the by-election will turn out to be an Armageddon between pro-Beijing and pro-independence forces, and the result of the election will no doubt serve as an unmistakable indication of public opinion on this critical issue.

As far as I am concerned, my vote will definitely go to Sixtus Leung if he is going to run again – partly due to my support for the demand of the post-Occupy generation for self-determination, and partly out of my indignation at the NPCSC’s interpretation.

Like I said before, begging will never work when it comes to fighting for democracy, and submission in the face of tyranny will only result in more oppression.

Very often, a slave only has himself to blame for remaining a slave, and likewise, the people of Hong Kong will probably only have themselves to blame if Leung Chun-ying gets re-elected.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Nov. 8.

Translation by Alan Lee

[Chinese version中文版]

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HKEJ columnist

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