Outspoken pro-Beijing lawmaker Regina Ip burst into tears during a radio interview on Friday morning when discussing the political reform vote farce.

The chair of the New People’s Party revealed that she had been so upset by the outcome of the vote that she had been unable to sleep on Thursday night.

During an interview with Commercial Radio she said: “I can only say that I am very disappointed and regretful. I can see many supporting netizens criticising us on social media, and many party members stood under the sun waiting for us to cast our vote over the past few days.”

In a failed attempt to force a 15-minute recess to make time for legislator Lau Wong-fat to arrive at the Legco chambers, Ip and other pro-Beijing legislators decided to “collectively step out of the legislature”. This would cause a compulsory break in proceedings if fewer than half of the lawmakers are present in the chamber, allowing Lau to arrive for the vote.

However, eight pro-Beijing legislators were not informed of the decision and remained in the chambers for the vote.

In response to her absence during voting for the political reform package, Ip said: “I think the Central People’s Government must be very disappointed. I was not able to sleep last night.

Regina Ip crying tears
Regina Ip in tears. Photo: Now TV.

“After working hard for 20 months, I really wanted to cast this vote”. She said the package had a lot of public support as “various polls have indicated that a majority of citizens want the reform to be passed”.

Ip said all the pro-establishment legislators worked hard and did not know if or when there would be another opportunity to elect the chief executive through universal suffrage.

When asked why the pro-establishment legislators had placed a newspaper advertisement criticising the pan-democrats’ rejection of the political reform package before admitting their own faults, Ip said: “We would not have attained the two-third threshold even if all of us [pro-establishment legislators] were present.” 

Ip’s tears came after she apologised on behalf of a group of pro-establishment legislators to Hongkongers after the walkout.

The proposed political reform package would have granted Hong Kong people a right to vote for the next chief executive through universal suffrage, but only from a pool of two or three candidates selected by a pro-Beijing committee.

Paul Benedict Lee is an undergraduate law student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Paul has previously contributed to HK Magazine and Radio Television Hong Kong, covering issues ranging from local heritage conservation to arts features. He has also worked as a legal intern at local human rights firm Daly & Associates.