Can the opposition be constructive for once?

Updated: 2017-01-20 07:48

(HK Edition)

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The opposition members of the Legislative Council on Thursday showed the public again why they have become so unpopular in recent years, by disrupting the question and answer session with Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying over the content of the 2017 Policy Address, which he presented on Wednesday. In doing so, they also gave Hong Kong society a heads-up on more destructive acts they may stage in our faces. As the outgoing CE pointed out, the LegCo have wasted so much precious time on pointless squabbles and disruptions. Many people wonder if this will ever end.

While the antics of habitual troublemakers like Leung Kwok-hung were nothing new, it seemed a little unusual when Lau Siu-lai also decided to break the Rules of Procedure and defy LegCo President Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen. When Andrew Leung told her to leave the chamber for inappropriate behavior and she refused, he ordered her to be escorted out by LegCo security personnel. That was when other opposition lawmakers joined their unruly colleague en masse and forced the LegCo president to adjourn the session.

It should be noted that both Leung Kwok-hung and Lau could face disqualification as LegCo members. This is because the Department of Justice has filed for a judicial review of their lawmaker status with the High Court after they adulterated the LegCo oath in violation of Article 104 of the Basic Law and Section 21 of the Oaths and Declarations Ordinance during swearing in last October. The hearing will take place next month. This could be a reason for Leung, Lau and two other opposition lawmakers facing the same jeopardy to want to cause more damage to public interest from inside the establishment while they still can.

The 2017 Policy Address is Leung's last, as his term in office will end when the next CE is sworn in on July 1. It contains many policy measures aimed at boosting the economy, improving housing supply and helping those in need as well as addressing some deeper issues of public concern. Those measures cannot be implemented without LegCo approval. After Thursday's outrageous episode, however, people should prepare themselves for even more bad news. This is because the opposition politicians are more determined than ever to sabotage the lawful administration of the SAR government.

The latest incident also proves the rule of law is still being challenged by political double standards. Hong Kong society should make sure it remains effective no matter what happens. Let no one assume they can betray the public without consequences.

(HK Edition 01/20/2017 page1)