A pro-Beijing lawmaker has threatened that his camp will walk out of the Legislative Council chamber to cut short its meetings if two localist lawmakers fail to apologise for their oath taking last week.

Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chun-hang and Yau Wai-ching of Youngspiration had their oaths rejected by the LegCo secretary-general last Wednesday. Both pronounced China as “chee-na,” which some took as an insult to Chinese people, whilst Yau seemingly pronounced republic as “refucking” in the phrase “People’s Republic of China,” which lawmakers have to read several times. They also showed a banner that read “Hong Kong is not China.”

Paul Tse
Paul Tse. Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

Paul Tse Wai-chun told i-Cable TV channel in a phone interview on Monday that the two must apologise before they can take the oath again this Wednesday.

“Otherwise, we the pro-Beijing camp – or [we will] even invite all the pan-democrats – will leave the chamber in protest,” Tse said.

Tse said his plan was to walk out for 14 minutes – the LegCo allows a buffer time of 15 minutes for lawmakers to come back to maintain quorum – and come back in the last minute to see if Leung and Yau have apologised.

“If they have not, we will walk out again for another 14 minutes,” he said. “If they fail to do so the third time, I suggest we do not come back that day to let the meeting be cut short, in order to pressure them to apologise to all the Chinese in the world.”

It is unclear how many lawmakers will participate in the action.

Sixtus “Baggio” Leung, one of the three whose oaths were rejected. Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

Meanwhile, four pro-Beijing camp lawmakers with legal backgrounds wrote to LegCo president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, demanding that lawmakers who have yet to complete the oath-taking write him to ask for a second chance before they can take the oath again.

Priscilla Leung Mei-fun, Holden Chow Ho-ding, Horace Cheung Kwok-kwan and Junius Ho Kwan-yiu, alongside several other pro-Beijing camp legal figures, told a press conference that lawmakers do not automatically have the opportunity to take the oath again. They also urged Andrew Leung to explain the rationale and rules for arranging for lawmakers to retake the oath, reported Now TV.

They also demanded that Youngspiration apologise and retract the statements made during the oath for their insulting nature.

Junius Ho. Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

Legal applications

Yau and Leung will also face two legal challenges.

Jimmy Siu See-kong, who ran for a LegCo seat several times, applied to the High Court through his company for a judicial review to challenge Yau’s eligibility as a lawmaker.

Siu wrote in the application that Yau changed her oath, showed a banner advocating Hong Kong independence, and practically denied being a Chinese citizen. Therefore, she was not qualified to run in the LegCo election as it contradicts the declaration that she made when she was nominated.

Siu also claimed that, as the incident involved the relationship between the central government and the Hong Kong government, the case should be sent to the Final Court of Appeal to ask for interpretation of the Basic Law by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.

Mok Ka-kit, a tertiary-level student who manages a pro-Beijing Facebook page, also applied to the High Court to ask for a judgment that the LegCo president should not allow Yau and Leung to take the oath again. Mok argued that they “refused” or “neglected” their duties to take the oath, and therefore their lawmaker status should be cancelled.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.