The government’s legal challenge against the Youngspiration duo is “the terror of the law, white terror,” former lawmaker Albert Ho has said on Commercial Radio Wednesday morning.

Ho spoke after the High Court ruled that the government won its bid to disqualify Yau Wai-ching and Baggio Leung Chung-hang from the Legislative Council.

The government applied for a judicial review as the two politicians were due to retake their oaths. During their first attempts, they carried a flag which said “Hong Kong is not China” and pronounced China as “Chee-na.”

albert ho
Albert Ho.

“The government is using taxpayers’ money to lodge this legal challenge,” said Ho. “The lawmakers are using their own money to fight, and if they lose they have to pay court fees. How is this fair?” He also said that Yau and Leung should not be asked to pay back any expenses that they applied for, since the expenses were already approved.

Ho also questioned whether the government had already been planning the move to lodge a legal challenge against them beforehand.

“I have reason to believe that there may have been a plan or a script at an earlier time.” The pro-Beijing camp may have received instructions to collectively walk out of the Legislative Council Chamber before Yau and Leung could retake their oaths, Ho said.

Pro-establishment lawmakers press conference
Pro-establishment lawmakers holding press conference. Photo: The Stand News

“I feel very worried and unsettled that the government is so cunning,” he said, adding that it was not fair and that a society under the rule of law should not do such a thing. As with any issue, Ho said, if the government plans on seeking follow-up action, there should be ample warning.

‘Far reaching consequences’

“The consequences of this incident are very deep and far-reaching,” he said. “No one thought that the law could be used that way, and now it has been given to the National People’s Committee for an interpretation… directing our judges on how the law should be interpreted.”

basic law
Photo: HKFP.

In any civilised place with the rule of law, he said, the most important thing is that the law is clear, and people know their choices and the consequences for what they do.

“The first thing is that… whether it is right or wrong, they did not know the consequences,” said Ho, “the second thing is that in so many terms, especially the last term, many people took oaths like that.”

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.