Date
13 December 2017
Paul Tse, chairman of the UGL probe panel, says that whether a lawmaker should remain in a Legco panel is up to the legislature. Even the chief executive cannot interfere. Photo: HKEJ
Paul Tse, chairman of the UGL probe panel, says that whether a lawmaker should remain in a Legco panel is up to the legislature. Even the chief executive cannot interfere. Photo: HKEJ

UGL saga and Jin Yong’s famous novel: What’s in common?

In the pitched battle between the outgoing chief executive and the pan-democrats over the “documentgate” saga, both sides have been exchanging criticism and accusations for days on end.

The public is getting fed up with the squabble, which has been grabbing news headlines almost on a daily basis over the past week.

As their war of words continues, some netizens with imagination and humor are comparing CY Leung and the pan-democrats to the six genies of the Peach Blossom Valley, a group of supporting characters in the book The Smiling, Proud Wanderer, one of the master works of the great novelist Louis Cha, better known by his pen name Jin Yong.

In the book, the six genies are notoriously confrontational and get a kick out of picking quarrels with others. Like our CE and the pan-democrats, they can’t get enough arguing with each other over everything.

Some even have drawn a parallel between our CE and the leader of the genie gang, both of whom, they joke, simply can’t survive without picking fights with others.

And CY Leung, to a certain extent, does live up to that comparison. After collaborating with Holden Chow to interfere in the Legco inquiry into the UGL case, he showed no signs of backing down..

Rather, he escalated his action and immediately opened up a second front to divert public attention by openly demanding Kenneth Leung, the lawmaker whom he is suing for defamation, quit the Legco probe panel.

However, Paul Tse, chairman of the probe panel, refused to dance to CY Leung’s tune and stated that whether or not a lawmaker should remain in a Legco panel is entirely within the jurisdiction of the legislature.

Even the CE, he added, doesn’t have the constitutional power to interfere in the decision.

In the meantime, the pan-democrats have decided to move an impeachment motion against the CE in Legco on June 7, which, in our opinion, is a complete waste of time and public resources.

Even if the motion is miraculously passed in Legco, by the time the Supreme Court starts scrutinizing the impeachment decision according to the procedures laid down in the Basic Law, Leung will have already stepped down. So what’s the point of doing that?

We all know that CY Leung and the pan-democrats dislike each other intensely. However, their recent high-profile onslaughts against each other in fact aren’t entirely out of pure grudge but, rather, cold political calculations.

For example, by kicking Kenneth Leung out of the probe panel, CY Leung can get rid of the only certified public accountant in the inquiry, thereby making it more difficult for the panel to proceed with the investigation because the remaining members are not as good at number-crunching as Kenneth Leung.

Likewise, the pan-democrats are mounting a full-court press against Leung by impeaching him even though they all know it’s not going to work. They are desperate to regain the limelight after former financial secretary John Tsang stole the show during the CE election.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on May 24

Translation by Alan Lee with additional reporting

[Chinese version 中文版]

– Contact us at [email protected]

RT/RA

A columnist at the Hong Kong Economic Journal

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