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Thursday, October 13, 2016, 00:15

How low can they go?

By Staff writer

If you think “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung and his cohorts have lowered the standards of Hong Kong’s legislature greatly over the last four years to the lowest in its history, you haven’t seen what some legislators-elect did on Wednesday. At the swearing-in session on the first day of assembly in the legislative chamber, they produced a farce so disgraceful that people watching it on TV shook their heads in disgust.

While most of the legislators-elect, including the moderate “pan-democrats”, read out the oath faithfully, those from the radical “localist” camp changed the wording, slowed down the tempo like during filibusters, and displayed pro-independence slogans.

Nothing can be more solemn than taking an oath as a legislator. But these young people apparently saw it as another opportunity to produce a show that pleased their supporters while delivering their separatist messages. Their childish actions have brought dishonor to the Legislative Council and to themselves. Their qualifications as legislators will now be questioned because what they did was clearly against the Basic Law.

Their most distressing actions, however, were to pronounce the word “Republic” like an obscene word and say “China” in the same way Japanese militarists did during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45). This word carries a racist and very insulting tone and today is not used. You cannot imagine it ever being uttered by a Chinese citizen about his country on such a solemn occasion.

Many of those who cast their votes in the latest Legislative Council election want change in our legislature. They were dissatisfied with the performance of our lawmaking body and its members during the previous term. But the first day of the new LegCo showed us it would probably be change for the worse.

Not only did the swearing-in ceremony not go smoothly, the election for LegCo’s president was also held up with considerable obstructions. The disgraceful farce the radicals produced on Wednesday dispelled any remaining hopes these young people might want to genuinely make a difference in the legislature and work for the greater good of Hong Kong.

This kind of disheartening news was in stark contrast to the positive news coming from Macao over the past few days. There, Premier Li Keqiang praised Macao’s rapid development in recent years. We should pay careful attention to the premier’s words.

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