Lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu succeeded in his bid to derail a censure motion tabled against him in the Legislative Council, thanks to the support of fellow pro-establishment legislators who moved their own motion opposing the original action initiated by the opposition camp.
Leveraging their numerical strength in the House, pro-Beijing lawmakers ensured on Thursday that the Legco passed a motion calling for abandoning censure proceedings against Ho.
With Ho loudly proclaiming that he would rather be dead than humiliated, establishment lawmakers rallied to his support and passed a motion that will result in the Legco not going ahead with the censure action.
The establishment camp’s moves came after an opposition lawmaker, Claudia Mo Man-ching, had in October last year tabled a censure motion against Ho after the latter made some remarks that were interpreted as a call for violence against Hong Kong independence advocates.
During an event at Tamar Park in Admiralty on Sept. 17 last year, Yuen Long district councilor Tsang Shu-wo said pro-independence activists should be “killed”, to which Ho added: “Without mercy!”
The speeches were made at a rally that was held to press the University of Hong Kong to sack Benny Tai Yiu-ting, an associate law professor at the university, for his role in the 2014 Occupy pro-democracy street protests.
Ho’s “kill without mercy” remarks against independence advocates enraged many, including pan-democratic lawmakers who called him “cold-blooded” and asked the police and the Department of Justice to take action.
The opposition groups accused Ho of inciting violence and breaking the law, a charge which Ho dismissed as absurd.
Ho later claimed that his remarks were misinterpreted and that he may have just used the wrong words.
That, however, didn’t assuage the feelings of pro-democrats.
In October, lawmaker Mo officially tabled a censure motion against Ho in the Legco.
But later lawmaker Gary Chan Hak-kan from the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) filed another motion that aimed to prevent Mo’s from proceeding forward.
During the discussions over Chan’s motion on Thursday, the DAB lawmaker said tangling over the Ho matter is outdated and meaningless now and that no censure is necessary.
DAB lawmaker Dr. Ann Chiang Lai-wan also defended Ho by saying he did not say the word “kill” and therefore he should not be accused of inciting others to commit illegal acts, , Apple Daily reports.
When it was Ho’s turn to speak, he was clearly in rage as he slammed democrats for supporting anti-China “traitors”, and turned around some words that disqualified pro-independence lawmaker Yau Wai-ching said during her oath-taking in 2016.
Also, he proclaimed his feelings about patriotism. “My love for the nation is from Yue Fei (a highly regarded Chinese general in the Song Dynasty), and my love for Hong Kong is from Lee Kuan Yew (the founding father of Singapore),” Ho claimed.
He even told democrats that he will give them “special treatment” if they dare come to the village Leung Tin Tsuen in Tuen Mun, where Ho grew up.
That prompted a backlash from democrats and Ho received a verbal warning from Legco president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen.
But pro-establishment lawmakers stuck with Ho, and passed Chan’s motion, helping Ho get off the hook with regard to the censure proceedings.
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