Comment: No tolerance for evil
( 2003-09-02 08:40) (China Daily)
A few months ago when Antony
Leung apologized for the infamous car purchase incident, Emily Lau Wai-hing was
the most persistent of all calling for Leung's head. Now Leung has paid a price
for his slip, but Lau is putting on a show of remorseless pomposity in her
"Taiwan independence'' activities.
One cannot but ask this question: Civil servants have to be held accountable
for what they do, but how about legislators? Antony Leung needed to resign. Yet
why can Emily Lau keep her seat at the Legislative Council?
To be fair, Leung's blunder pales in comparison with Lau's, which is totally
different in nature.
Leung gave up a job in business that paid 10 times as much in order to serve
the Hong Kong people. He also donated the difference in the pay gap to public
charities. Judging from his dedication and his financial status, nobody would
believe that he would do something to ruin his own career for just tens of
thousands of dollars. After the incident happened, he offered to resign,
explained to Legco and apologized to the public. He did not shirk from his
Emily Lau commits her faux paus on purpose. When Legco passed a unanimous
resolution against "Taiwan independence,'' she chose to be absent. Recently,
knowing full well the political background of "Taiwan Advocates,'' she attended
a conference in Taiwan that was intended to promote "de-Sinofication'' moves.
Now, in the face of wide public outcry in Hong Kong, she insists on her
"pro-Taiwan independence'' stance, refusing to recognize that Taiwan is part of
China. She defends herself with the excuse of "free speech,'' and tries to turn
the table around by demanding apologies from her critics. She even claims "not
to be regretful at all'' and "will keep on doing it.'' Such airs and words of
pugnacity are intolerable beyond description.
What Emily Lau challenges is the national principle and the Basic Law. She
tramples upon the national pride of all Chinese including Hong Kong people. The
public feels regret for electing a representative with total disregard for
national conviction, and anger for her violation of promises and her lack of
self-reflection toward her own behaviour.
There have now emerged cries for the Legco to strip Emily Lau of her
legislator status. There should be. Resignation of legislators and senior
officials is not uncommon, ranging from Cheng Kai-nam to Regina Yip and Antony
Leung. None of them erred as seriously as has Emily Lau. Should Hong Kong resort
to the practice of "tolerating major offenses and punishing lapses?'' We will
wait and see.