Two separatist lawmakers in Hong Kong lost their appeal yesterday against a ruling disqualifying them from the city's Legislative Council. Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, notorious for delivering hatred and pro-independence remarks at their oath-taking ceremony, have made a show of themselves again.
Hong Kong's political reform is at a crossroads. Since an election reform plan was voted down by the Hong Kong legislature in early 2015, pro-independence elements were incited to make greater waves that are out of all proportion to their real influence. Their overbearing hypocrisy and arrogance to claim to represent the will of the people keeps irritating Hongkongers and turning the "silent majority" to the opposite. The oath-taking scandal pushes to the apex the city's indignation at these clowns.
Leung and Yau's disqualification is legally based on an interpretation of the Basic Law by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, which ruled that legislators-elect shall be disqualified from office if they fail to take the oath as scheduled. The rare but legitimate involvement of China's highest legislative body is a game-changing event that signifies the central government's determination to draw bottom lines for Hong Kong's political life and get the messy city back to order.
As the chief executive election is approaching, Hong Kong will enter a volatile and crucial period of time. Recently, some media reports have found out that certain pro-independence figures are trying to sneak into the Election Committee to gain some leverage. According to newspaper Ta Kung Pao, at least three of the 1,539 candidates for the committee have publicly supported Hong Kong separatism and independence.
It is high time that the Hong Kong and Chinese mainland authorities carry out prudent scrutiny of candidates' backgrounds, making sure the electoral process won't be reduced to a playground for pro-independence forces to make farces.
Article 23 of the Basic Law clearly prescribes that Hong Kong shall enact laws on its own to prohibit "any acts of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the central people's government." However, the legislation has been shelved for a long time due to opposition. It is past time for the Hong Kong authority to put it on the agenda again.
Without proper regulation and guidance in politics, Hong Kong will be swirling out of control. Confounded by the pro-democracy factions which disregard boundaries and the city's legal status, Hong Kong's democracy is no longer a healthy and productive mechanism to serve the public good. It has become more of a pretense under which a handful of elements try to acquire petty benefits from creating chaos and confrontations.
We expect Beijing and Hong Kong authorities to be more decisive in re-establishing boundaries and reinstall the rule of law.