A pro-democracy Hong Kong district councillor has handed in his resignation as he intends to refuse to swear allegiance to the Hong Kong government under the proposed oath-taking law.

North District Councillor Sea Yuen said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that he had submitted a resignation letter to the Home Affairs Department last Friday, and that his last day would be May 31.

Sea Yuen
Sea Yuen. File photo: Sea Yuen, via Facebook.

“I hope people can understand the reason why I resigned,” the post read. “That is, the government played dirty tricks to add some things… [I] think that if [I] take an oath, I would be agreeing to their unreasonable ways…”

“Thank you for your support over this year, I can still remember the cheer in Elegantia College after the counting of votes,” Yuen said.

Yuen won the seat in the Ching Ho constituency during the 2019 District Council Election with 3,944 votes. The pro-democracy camp won 388 out of 479 seats in that election, securing all but one district council.

The oath-taking requirement for district councillors was first unveiled in February, a day after Chinese official Xia Baolong said the Hong Kong government should ensure only “patriots” hold power in the city.

Draft amendments for the bill are currently being debated at the legislature. They state that those who endanger national security would be seen as violating the loyalty pledge.

Yuen would be the third district councillor to quit for refusing to pledge his loyalty to the government, after Jacky Lai and To Ka-lun.

Another remanded democrat quits

Roy Tam, another pro-democracy district councillor, also announced on Tuesday that he has quit Tsuen Wan District Council, after resigning from the NeoDemocrats last month.

Tam was one of the 47 democrats charged under the national security law in January for allegedly organising or participating in a primary election last year for the since-postponed Legislative Council election. Tam was also denied bail and has been in custody since February.

In the post, Tam said that it had been more difficult to serve the residents of Ma Wan and Tsuen Wan, even though he received help from other district councillors and his team.

“[In] the long run, [I] will not be able to personally carry out the duties of a district councillor,” the post read. “I believe that, no matter the post, we can still make an effort for environmental protection, take responsibility for our own environment, give back to society…” Tam wrote.

Correction 23.8.2021: A previous version of this article stated that Roy Tam resigned from the Ma Wan District Council. He resigned from the Ma Wan constituency of the Tsuen Wan District Council.

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.