Lawmaker Nathan Law Kwun-chung has criticised the president of the legislature for wearing the symbol of his political party as he held a meeting on Wednesday.

Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen wore a pin with the emblem of his party, the Business and Professionals Alliance (BPA), on his suit. Around 35 minutes into the meeting, Law stood up and interrupted the transport minister’s speech to ask Leung a question on Council order.

“Mr. President, I have a point of order. I rarely call you president – I think as the president, it is important to maintain the Council’s tradition and impartiality, so I kindly ask you to remove the BPA emblem on your suit, to show that you wish to be an impartial president in the future,” Law said.

Andrew Leung and Nathan Law. Photo: LegCo

Leung dismissed the question, saying that it was not a point of order and telling Law to sit down. However, Leung later removed the pin.

Later on Wednesday, Law posted on social media comments made by Leung during a special forum on October 11 for the LegCo presidential race.

“If I am elected tomorrow, I will resign as the chairman of the BPA party,” Leung said at the time. “To remain neutral, I will follow the practice set by the last president – I will not comment on politics and will not participate in the decision making process of the party caucus. I will also follow the last president’s usual practice in voting.”

A day after Leung was elected president, he resigned as the chairman of the party.

Andrew Leung. File Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

Law said the president’s political neutrality is an important cornerstone of the parliamentary system, and that former LegCo presidents remained impartial even though they did not resign from their parties.

“Wearing his own party’s emblem when holding a meeting is of course a declaration of political stance. When you wear the emblem and the lawmakers of the BPA party speak, how can it be ensured that you will hold the meeting fairly?” Law said. “A host of demons are dancing in LegCo – it seems to be a luxurious demand to ask them to cherish the spirit and tradition of the parliamentary system.”

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.