Pro-Beijing lawmaker Ann Chiang Lai-wan has urged the authorities to better train its civil servants after learning that the parents of independence-leaning politician Yau Wai-ching worked in the government.

Chiang said during Monday’s session at the legislature that she was “shocked” to learn that Yau’s parents were civil servants and that her father is “very supportive” of her behaviour. She said the government should provide better training to “increase their understanding of our country and the Basic Law.”

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Ann Chiang. Photo: Ann Chiang, via Facebook.

Chiang also asked whether the government was aware that some civil servants support Hong Kong independence.

Secretary for the Civil Service Clement Cheung Wan-ching, who attended the session, responded that he cannot verify Yau’s statement, nor does he know her parents in person.

He said the government is committed to providing Basic Law training to its 7,500-strong civil service, such as holding seminars to examine case studies on constitutional law and the One Country, Two Systems policy.

Yau mentioned that her parents are retired civil servants in an interview with Next Magazine last week, but she did not say that her father supports her political involvement. In another interview, Yau said her family was upset over her controversial conduct during last month’s swearing-in session at the legislature.

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“They said I didn’t think before speaking, and that my oath had insulted Chinese people,” she said in the interview. The politician added that her family was understanding after she explained to them that she did not mean to offend.

Yau and her party colleague Baggio Leung Chun-hang were disqualified from the legislature last week after the High Court ruled in favour of the government in a judicial review challenge over the validity of their oaths.

The pair are seeking donations of HK$5 million from the public to fund an appeal, which is scheduled for Thursday.

Ellie Ng has written for Foreign Policy, the Daily Telegraph, Global Voices Online and others.