Bring home the clown

Updated: 2014-04-16 06:47

By Staff Writer(HK Edition)

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Bring home the clown

Larrikin legislator-agitator "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung is now presumably thinking up some new stunt to divert our attention as another clammy summer begins to envelop Hong Kong.

His performance at Shanghai Pudong Airport the other day was quite mild by his customary outrageous standards - the Tian'anmen T-shirt; the anti-central government pamphlets and paraphernalia in his travel bag; the defiant smirk on his face and his querulous attitude.

Nevertheless, it would seem that his "mission" to Shanghai was a minor "success" according to his own agenda. In garnering so much attention to his "Looney Left" antics, he managed to briefly steal the limelight away from the potentially deadlock-breaking meeting on political reform that was the whole purpose of the Hong Kong legislators' visit to Shanghai.

We have little doubt that Leung never had the faintest expectation that, thanks to his "costume", rebellious luggage and trouble-making history, he would clear customs uneventfully.

It all added up to a pathetic but true-to-form performance by our tireless limelight-hogging prankster except that the stage had changed to another city.

It was probably no surprise the Labour Party's Cyd Ho and Peter Cheung decided to show their support for the clown and also return to Hong Kong. They also gave up the chance to express their views at this historic confab - especially since a separate meeting had been granted to the "pan-democrats". One has to wonder about their real priorities.

Frederick Fung of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood, who is recognized as one of the more forward-looking opposition members, later remarked tellingly, "The main purpose of this meeting in Shanghai is to discuss the political reform with Beijing officials for the first time in 10 years. We treasure this opportunity."

And Legislative Council President Jasper Tsang - who had tried to reason with Leung during the confrontation at the immigration counter - said of the departure of the trio that "it is regrettable, and a pity."

Perhaps it is his theatrical public antics that keep "Long Hair" popular with voters. In the last few elections - including of course the extraordinary poll in 2010 that followed the mass resignation of five radical members and forced such a costly and totally frivolous re-election exercise on to the government - he bounced back to his LegCo seat as obstructionistic and obstreperous as ever.

When politicians finally retire from their legislative careers, they customarily pen their memoirs, listing their accomplishments in getting controversial but beneficial legislation enacted.

So may we ask just what political accomplishments would "Long Hair" have to brag about? Perhaps he could get a chapter out of his experiences in the slammer after some of his more foolish transgressions.

Then of course there's the "banana attack" in LegCo when his fellow travelers Albert Chan and "Mad Dog" Wong Yuk-man joined him to bombard then Chief Executive Donald Tsang with fruit and paper missiles.

Possibly that caper could supply an appropriate title such as "I've Gone Bananas".

(HK Edition 04/16/2014 page9)