The two lawmakers representing localist party Youngspiration have heavily criticised what they call a “sudden assault” launched by the government to bar them from taking their oath as lawmakers again.

Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching appeared at the High Court on Tuesday night after the Department of Justice applied for leave for a judicial review to overrule LegCo President Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen’s decision to afford them a second chance to be sworn in as lawmakers on Wednesday. They were requested to attend a court hearing at 9pm.

Baggio Leung Yau Wai-ching
Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching. Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

They said they only received emails and phone calls from the department at around 4:50pm, and that they did not have time to prepare for the court hearing.

“The government also started the court hearing when our lawyers were waiting for legal documents,” Baggio Leung said. “We are very dissatisfied.”

The court was originally set to hear them at 7:30pm, but Mr Justice Thomas Au Hing-cheung postponed the session to 9pm since not all parties had received the relevant documents.

Baggio Leung Yau Wai-ching
Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching. Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

“This incident shows that [Chief Executive] Leung Chun-ying and [Secretary for Justice] Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, two traitors of Hong Kong, ignored Hong Kong’s interests – Yau Wai-ching and I will defend the Hong Kong nation’s dignity and interests with our lives – we’ll fight whatever they got.”

Leung Chun-ying Rimsky Yuen
Leung Chun-ying and Rimsky Yuen. File Photo: GovHK.

Leung also questioned why the government chose to raise a legal challenge a day before they were due to retake their oaths, almost a week after their first attempt.

“Since the establishment of Hong Kong – and even in any common law countries – have you ever seen a government using the judiciary to entangle the legislature? Is this the destruction of the civilisation and systems built by Hong Kong, by the Hong Kong nation?” Leung said.

Baggio Leung Yau Wai-ching
Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching. Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

The new president of the Legislative Council has said he opposed the government’s move to seek a legal challenge to block the two localist politicians from retaking their pledges. He has instructed LegCo staff members to cast opposition in court.

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Last week, Baggio Leung and Yau’s oaths were rejected by the LegCo secretary-general. 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.” They also displayed a banner which read “Hong Kong is not China.”

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.