A pro-democracy legislator raised a surprise motion at the Hong Kong legislature after Macau banned lawmakers from entering the sister SAR. But the pro-Beijing lawmaker who chaired the meeting did not allow the motion to be debated.

A Legislative Council panel on security was discussing Hong Kong’s new immigration control system on Friday morning. Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting raised a sudden motion demanding the Security Bureau to follow up with the recent barring of lawmakers, as well as other Hongkongers, into Macau.

Lawmaker Kenneth Leung Kai-cheong and Democratic Party’s Andrew Wan Siu-kin were denied entry on April 16 and 30 respectively. Both of them said at the time they only planned to travel with their families. Just days before Leung’s denial, Leung was able to enter China for a tour inspecting water facilities.

Ray Chan Andrew Wan Kenneth Leung
From left: Ray Chan, Andrew Wan, Kenneth Leung.

Ray Chan Chi-chuen was denied entry to Macau in January, when he said he was intending to visit friends and families during the Lunar New Year.

“They accuse our lawmaker colleagues of creating threats to their internal security – it is utterly unreasonable and ridiculous,” Lam told the Undersecretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu at the meeting.

He asked Lee to consider adjusting the new immigration control system to target Macau’s security leadership and immigration officials.

“So that when they enter or leave, they will be brought into a room, examined for an hour, and denied of entry to Hong Kong – then give them a letter saying that they threatened Hong Kong’s security,” Lam suggested.

Lee said Lam’s suggestion could not be carried out legally. Lam then proposed a non-binding motion relevant to his suggestion.

Lam Cheuk-ting
Lam Cheuk-ting. Photo: HKFP/Catherine Lai.

The pro-democracy camp outnumbered the pro-Beijing camp at the meeting at the time, thus the motion could have been passed if accepted.

However, Gary Chan Hak-kan of the pro-Beijing DAB party, who chaired the meeting, rejected Lam’s motion.

“This is not directly related to the new immigration control system, because it is about immigration policy,” Chan said.

Lam accused Chan of abusing his power.

“Obviously he saw that there were not enough pro-Beijing camp members attending the meeting, so he used the chairman’s power to forcibly reject my motion which was raised in accordance with the rules of procedure,” he said. “Gary Chan is undoubtedly protecting the government. He has lost the neutrality as the chairman.”

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.