Pan-democrats have called on the public to sign a petition to pressure the pro-Beijing camp into supporting motions to impeach Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and condemn lawmaker Holden Chow.

“Stand with what is right and condemn what is wrong. As electors, you are the ones who should have a say in this matter,” Civic Party lawmaker Alvin Yeung said on Wednesday.

ugl impeachment petition
The online petition. Photo: Screenshot.

The petition – started by Yeung and backed by other pan-democrats – came after 28 lawmakers submitted a draft of a motion to impeach the chief executive for interfering in a legislative probe over a controversial HK$50 million payout he received from Australian firm UGL.

Leung was found to have edited a document of Holden Chow in order to alter the scope of the probe. Chow has since apologised and resigned from the investigative committee, though Leung insists he has the right to express his views.

Pro-Beijing DAB lawmaker Starry Lee said her party will not support the impeachment motion, though other pro-government parties have yet to clarify their position.

Yeung urged members of the public to express their views to pro-government district councillors, and ask them to talk to their party colleagues in the legislature.

“‘Holden Gate’ is the biggest scandal of executive branch meddling in legislative affairs since 1997. All political parties should support the motions to impeach Leung and condemn Chow,” lawmaker Lau Siu-lai said.

Holden Chow Leung Chun-ying
Holden Chow and Leung Chun-ying. Photo: HKFP/GovHK.

See also: CY Leung’s interference in UGL probe could be criminal, says lawmaker amid impeachment talk

Refusing to back the motions, Starry Lee described the pan-democrats’ campaign as a “political attack” against the leader. In response, Yeung said pro-government politicians should not “volunteer to go down with someone who is nearing the end of his term.”

A number of pro-Beijing veteran politicians have criticised Leung and Chow for disrespecting the role of the legislature to monitor the government.

Conflict of interest

Since the scandal broke out, Leung has repeatedly urged accountancy sector lawmaker Kenneth Leung to quit the probe body, on the basis that he is “biased” and has a direct conflict of interest since the pair are involved in a defamation lawsuit over the UGL payout controversy.

On Wednesday, Kenneth Leung wrote to the committee chair Paul Tse Wai-chun declaring that he has an ongoing lawsuit with the chief executive.

Kenneth Leung
Kenneth Leung. File Photo: Kenneth Leung, via Facebook.

He said he volunteered to make the declaration, even though LegCo’s Rules of Procedure only require committee members to declare pecuniary interest.

Many have questioned the high-profile attacks by the chief executive on an individual lawmaker.

“Your nearly lunatic behaviour will only make people believe you are afraid of being investigated, that you are trying to conceal something,” legal sector lawmaker Dennis Kwok said Monday.

The pan-democrats expect to discuss the two motions at the legislature on June 7 at the earliest. Leung Chun-ying is set to leave office on June 30.

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