Pro-democracy lawmaker Ted Hui was kicked out of a legislative committee meeting on Monday over a protest concerning the draft national anthem law.
At the meeting, committee chair Martin Liao announced that the deadline for the committee to submit written questions to the government would be Friday. Other written questions would only be able to be submitted by lawmakers themselves.
Democrats opposed the arrangement, including Hui. After other lawmakers raised their opposition, Hui continued to challenge Liao’s decision from his seat.
Hui asked if there was any precedent for setting such deadlines. Liao said in response: “There is no precedent. It was my decision.”
Liao claimed Hui was speaking from his seat without his permission. Hui said Liao was abusing his power, before Liao asked guards to remove him.
Three security staffers then removed Hui from the room. Hui reported an injury to his right arm, and an ambulance was called.
Pro-democracy lawmakers have said the government’s proposed national anthem law is unclear as to what is constitutes “insulting” the anthem.
According to the bill proposed on January 23, anyone who publicly and wilfully alters the lyrics or the score of March of the Volunteers, performs or sings the national anthem in a distorted or derogatory manner, or insults the song in any other manner in public or online, risks a penalty of up to HK$50,000 and three years behind bars.
Legislative Council President Andrew Leung said that Monday’s incident came after another incident on Saturday. During a public hearing on the anthem law, three activists from the pro-democracy Demosisto group stormed the chair’s table and bumped into a security guard.
The guard was injured on his left shoulder and his back after a medical check up, and was ordered to take eight rest days. The police were notified, Leung said.
Concerning the Monday incident, Leung said a guard suffered injuries to his chest and was sent for a medical checkup at hospital. He said he understood Hui reported the case to the police.
“As the employer of the secretariat, the LegCo Commission has a duty to provide a safe working environment for our employees,” Leung said, after the commission – a body of lawmakers in charge of administrative affairs – met on Monday.
He said the commission would look into taking appropriate action over both incidents.