Separatism won't be tolerated anywhere

Updated: 2018-05-17 06:02

(HK Edition)

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A group of Hong Kong residents held a protest outside the Legislative Council on Wednesday morning, urging lawmakers to support a motion to censure Civic Passion lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai for desecrating the national flag and special administrative region flag in violation of relevant Hong Kong laws. Media attention on this has focused on whether or not it will affect the political equilibrium of Hong Kong. But the real issue here is that Hong Kong society must crush any attempt to spread separatism in the SAR.

Cheng turned multiple miniature national flags and Hong Kong SAR flags belonging to other lawmakers upside down during a LegCo session in 2016. He was found guilty of desecrating national and SAR flags by an Eastern District magistrate last year. He was also fined HK$5,000 for the offense. A pro-establishment lawmaker tabled the motion to censure Cheng earlier this year and LegCo is expected to vote on it this week. LegCo is not expected to pass the motion as this requires a two-thirds majority, which the pro-establishment side does not have, but the intention behind the motion is to uphold the Basic Law and rule of law in Hong Kong more than anything else.

Cheng is a leading member of Civic Passion, a radical political group which advocates "localism", which is widely seen as a euphemism for "Hong Kong independence". Indeed, he committed the above-mentioned offense on television in support of two openly "pro-independence" lawmakers-elect who made their separatist stand public by turning the LegCo oath ceremony into a political farce in October 2016. As a result of their illegal acts the two were found unfit for LegCo by the High Court last year; Chung was taken to court by the Department of Justice for his unlawful behavior and found guilty as expected. The motion to censure him was introduced in accordance with a relevant clause in the Rules of Procedure of LegCo. It aimed to show once again that unconstitutional acts and unlawful behavior are not tolerated in Hong Kong.

The opposition camp in LegCo has vowed to vote down the motion to censure Cheng. This is because its passage would automatically disqualify him as lawmaker and put the opposition camp closer to losing its "critical minority" - even though he and the mainstream "pan-democrats" are far from being "brothers in arms". There is no doubt that many members of the voting public are very disappointed by the "pan-democrats'" decision to "save" Cheng. They did this just for the sake of their ability to obstruct the lawful operation of the SAR government and accurate implementation of "one country, two systems" according to the Basic Law as well as the Constitution of the country. Their "critical minority" can keep Cheng in LegCo until the end of his term in office at best, but by doing so they actually risk losing popular support in the 2020 LegCo elections.

Separatism won't be tolerated anywhere

(HK Edition 05/17/2018 page8)