Two localist Youngspiration politicians have warned of the “dangerous nature” of the walk-out action which the pro-Beijing camp staged on Wednesday at the legislature. The move prevented them from retaking their oaths as lawmakers.

The oaths of Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chun-hang and Yau Wai-ching were rejected by the LegCo secretary-general last week. The camp demanded Leung and Yau apologise for what they deemed to be insults to Chinese people, before they can be sworn in again.

The duo refused to apologise and the meeting was prematurely terminated owing to the walk out. Leung said an apology cannot be easily made.

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

“The nature of the incident is very dangerous,” Leung said. “If one day a lawmaker says something that [the pro-Beijing camp] does not like, and the camp… decides it will not attend a meeting because the lawmaker has not apologised, isn’t it the case that they can employ this political violence every time to overrule a lawmaker’s right to make a speech and debate laws?”

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“As a representative of the people, we should only apologise for judgments we made – it cannot be made easily,” Leung said. “In this incident, when we think we have not done anything wrong, we cannot apologise easily.”

Yau said they are burdened by the expectations of tens of thousands of people who voted for them.

“If we apologise easily, we will not be meeting with their expectations,” Yau said. “Even if the pro-Beijing camp takes [the walk-out] action again next week, I don’t think I have to apologise.”

andrew leung legco
LegCo president Andrew Leung. Photo: HKFP.

The LegCo president said he would allow them to retake their oaths, but the Chief Executive and the Secretary for Justice lodged a last minute legal challenge on Tuesday night to block them from retaking the pledge.

However, the government failed to obtain an interim injunction from the court.

“What did the pro-Beijing camp do today? They colluded with the two bad guys [the Chief Executive and the Secretary for Justice]… ‘you cannot get the injunction, let us do the job for you’,” Leung said. “They have to pay for the political consequences.”

Yau Wai-ching unfurls flag at LegCo. Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

The duo said they still wished to complete their oaths, but it was up to the LegCo president to decide how it can proceed. According to LegCo rules, oath taking can only take place at a meeting of the Council.

When asked if they will bring their “Hong Kong is Not China” flag to the oath taking ceremony, Leung said: “I hope the LegCo president, the legal advisers or the LegCo secretariat will give us clear instructions as to what we have to change.”

The pan-democrats condemned the walk-out. The pro-Beijing camp has yet to decide as to whether the same action will be taken next Wednesday.

Leung said there is room for cooperation with the pan-democrats, as they shared the same view on the incident in that the executive branch should not intervene in the affairs of the legislature.

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.