Hong Kong pro-establishment lawmaker Alice Mak has called for an investigation into whether filibustering from pan-democrats at Legislative Council (Legco) sessions contravenes the Beijing-imposed national security law.

“The national security law states that it is an offence if anyone seriously interferes in, disrupts, or undermine the performance of duties and functions in accordance with the law,” Mak said during a meeting at the legislature on Thursday. “The president should consider whether the pan-democrats’ action constitutes a serious interference.”

Alice Mak
Alice Mak. File photo: LegCo.

The Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions lawmaker’s comments to LegCo President Andrew Leung came during the third reading of the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2019, during which pan-democrat lawmakers made repeated quorum calls.

The bill proposed revisions to the city’s judicial review process to alleviate the judiciary’s caseload. The amendments included reducing the number of judges presiding over applications for leave to appeal to the final appellate court from three to two. The proposal was drafted by a committee of only pro-establishment lawmakers.

Democrats criticised the proposed bill, saying its provisions did not address the “core issues” of the matter. They said efforts should instead be made to reform “system injustices” preceding the appeal stage to reduce the number of appeals in the first place.

Andrew Leung
Andrew Leung. Photo: Legislative Council, via Flickr.

Throughout the meeting, Leung repeatedly warned pro-democracy lawmakers, including Claudia Mo and Fernando Cheung, ordered them to refrain from discussing unrelated matters and return to the debate at hand.

The bill was passed, with 37 votes for and 18 against.

Earlier this month, during the election of the chair and deputy chair of the House Committee, democrats attempted to nominate every legislator present in an apparent bid to delay proceedings.

Hong Kong’s national security law, which came into force on June 30, criminalises subversion, secession, foreign interference and terrorism, broadly defined to include interference with transportation and other infrastructure.

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Rhoda Kwan is HKFP's Assistant Editor. She has previously written for TimeOut Hong Kong and worked at Meanjin, a literary journal. She holds a double bachelor’s degree in Law and Literature from the University of Hong Kong.