By Joyce Lim
Hong Kong Correspondent
The Straits Times
Holding over 25% of the votes, they aim to stop Beijing’s preferred candidate Carrie Lam
Edward Yiu Chung-yim, Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching each inserted words of defiance, with two Youngspiration legislators referring to ‘the people’s re-f****** of Chee-na’
South China Morning Post
1.46pm – More shots at the presumed future Legco president
Before the Legco meeting resumed, Eddie Chu Hoi-dick remained on the stage, demanding Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen produce a “certificate of renunciation” of his British nationality, instead of just two cover letters from the UK Home Office informing Leung that the certificate had been registered.
“I won’t leave here until Leung shows it,” Chu said. “Because this is the last chance we can ask him to come clean.”
Chu was flanked by “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, Lau Siu-lai, Claudia Mo Man-ching, Nathan Law Kwun-chung and Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung.
For 30 minutes, Chu spoke without interruption, and Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen remained silent in his seat, then left the chamber as Chu finished.
The Legco secretariat has been soliciting legal advice as to the validity of the oaths of the three lawmakers Edward Yiu Chung-yim, Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching.
12.40pm – ‘It’s my Ap Lei Chau accent’
The two Youngspiration legislators defended their pronunciation of China as “Chee-na”.
“It’s my Ap Lei Chau accent,” Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chun-hang said.
The localist also stressed he had done nothing wrong by carrying a banner reading “Hong Kong is not China” while reading his oath.
“What I wear is none of [Legco secretary general Kenneth Chen’s] business,” he said.
12.33pm – The pro-Beijing camp’s take
As the oath-taking ceremony concluded, pro-Beijing legislators condemned several localist legislators for departing from the official language of the swearing-in process.
Lawmaker and Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong’s chairwoman Starry Lee Wai-king said the party would seek legal advice on whether any follow-up action could be pursued against those who altered their oath.
Business and Professionals Alliance legislator Priscilla Leung Mei-fun said Legco secretary general Kenneth Chen Wei-on had been tolerant.
Referring to the two Youngspiration legislators who pronounced China as ‘Chee-na’, Leung said: “I hope when they take their oath again, they will not pronounce China in a way that insults Chinese. We cannot accept this.”
12.30pm – Nathan Law raises questions
Nathan Law Kwun-chung made a short speech preceding his oath. “The word ‘affirmation’ originates from Latin, meaning ‘making it stronger’,” the former Occupy movement student leader said in his preamble. “But the sacred ritual of oath-taking today has been reduced to a tool by the regime to suppress people.”
“You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind,” he said.
As he proceeded with his oath and came to the word “republic”, he changed the intonation of his voice, as if asking a question. “I uphold… the People’s Republic of China? I swear allegiance to… the People’s Republic of China?”
The youngest lawmaker of the newly convened body then asked Legco secretary general Kenneth Chen Wei-on why he was qualified to reject three localists’ oaths, referring to Edward Yiu Chung-yim, Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching.
“Which Legco rule says you have the power to stop them joining the presidential election?” Law asked. Lawmakers whose oaths are rejected are ineligible to vote for Legco president.
Chen asked him to return to his seat, and Law’s allies Eddie Chu Hoi-dick and Lau Siu-lai called out to support Law. They raised again the nationality issue of Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, who is poised to be the president.
Chen called for a break.
12.25pm – Another call for universal suffrage
Democratic Party lawmaker Roy Kwong Chun-yu said at his swearing in: “Hong Kong is the home ground of Hongkongers. Let’s not forget how we began. I want genuine universal suffrage! Go for it Hongkongers!”
12.24pm – A localist explains his motives
Civic Passion lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai delivered a speech at the beginning of his oath explaining why he would take his oath properly.
“In the past few years, our protest for the future of Hong Kong has led us to the streets for 79 days,” he said, referring to the Occupy movement of 2014. “Some youngsters even gave up their future on the first day of the Lunar New Year for Hong Kong,” he said, referring to the Mong Kong riotearlier this year.
“I don’t think the way I take the oath today would amount to any effective resistance,” he said. “I believe everyone will understand.”
The localist legislator then read the oath out in full, and, at the end stated: “Rewrite the constitution by the people… Long live Hong Kong.”
12.12pm – Youngspiration lawmakers’ oaths rejected
Legco secretary general Kenneth Chen Wei-on held that the oath by two Youngspiration lawmakers were invalid as they wore or presented attire bearing the words: “Hong Kong is not China”.
Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching began their oath by swearing allegiance to a “Hong Kong nation” and staing they would “preserve, protect and defend” their fellow Hongkongers.
When they read out the official portion of the oath, they pronounced China as ‘Chee-na’, the derogatory pronunciation used during Japanese occupation of the city.
When Chen interrupted Leung to call his attention to his improper oath, Leung waved his hand and said he had not finished.
After Leung and Yau finished, Chen said he would be unable to attest to their oaths, citing the slogan “Hong Kong is not China”.
“Your display gives me reason to doubt whether you understand your duties as lawmakers,” Chen said.
Yau Wai-ching’s exchange with Legco secretary general Kenneth Chen Wei-on
Youngspiration’s Yau Wai-ching was heard mispronouncing the phrase “People’s Republic of China” three times during her oath.
Yau Wai-ching: “I, Yau Wai-ching, do solemnly swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Hong Kong nation, and will to the best of my ability preserve protect and defend the fellows of Hong Kong.”
Chen: “Councillor Yau Wai-ching, you changed the wording of the oath. I cannot oversee the oath-taking for you, please take the oath again according to the wordings stated in the law.”
Yau: “I understand. You don’t need to repeat”, she said as she draped a banner bearing the phrase “Hong Kong is not China” on the table before her.
Yau: “I (more loudly than before), Yau Wai-ching, solemnly, sincerely and truly declare that and affirm that being a member of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong special administrative region of the people’s re-f****** of Chee-na, I will uphold the basic law of the Hong Kong special administrative region of the people’s re- f****** of Chee-na, bear allegiance to the Hong Kong special administrative region of the people’s re- f****** of Chee-na, and serve the Hong Kong special administrative region conscientiously, dutifully and in full accordance with the law honestly and with integrity.”
Chen: “Councillor Yau, your display gives me reason to doubt whether you understand your duties. I don’t have the power to oversee your oath-taking.”
11.59am – How slow can you go?
New lawmaker localist Lau Siu-lai added a 40-second opening remark before taking her oath with extreme slowness, promising that she would carry on with “the spirit of the umbrella movement [of 2014], which is to determine our own fate”.
“I will walk with Hongkongers, link up the inside and the outside of the legislature, and resist the autocratic regime,” she said. “We must live in truth and integrity, and break the coldness and timidity of our society. We must also seek hope in the dark, and open the path of democratic self-determination. We must topple the high wall, and determine for ourselves and strengthen ourselves.”
Lau spent eight minutes delivering her oath, pausing five to seven seconds between every word.
As she dragged on, pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu called out, describing her approach as “stupid”.
When Lau finally finished and went on to vow to protect retirement, the secretary general cut her off and called on the next councillor for oath-taking.
11.55am – First oath rejected
Non-affiliated lawmaker Edward Yiu Chung-yim, representing the architectural, surveying, planning and landscape sector, is the first to have his oath rejected by Legco’s secretary general Kenneth Chen Wai-on.
After stating “being a member of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China”, Yiu added: “I will uphold procedural justice in Hong Kong, fight for genuine universal suffrage, and serve the city’s sustainable development” before he moved on to swear to uphold the Basic Law.
After Chen asked him to swear in again without inserting his own phrases, Yiu took his oath again, but again added his phrases at the end of the official language.
Chen then asked Yiu to return to his seat, meaning he could not take part in the Legco presidential election later in the afternoon. According to Legco rules, Yiu must takes his oath again next week.
11.55am – Echoes of Occupy
Social welfare sector lawmaker Shiu Ka-chun struck a tambourine he was carrying several times at the end of his oath. He then stated the spirit of the umbrella movement had continued.
“We are back,” Shiu said, holding up his fist. Some in the pan-democratic camp tap on their desks to show solidarity with his statement.
11.51am – Step down, CY Leung!
Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting, a former ICAC investigator, said after taking his oath: “Crack down on corruption! Wolf Leung, step down!” The reference to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying led the city’s leader to issue a legal letter againstApple Daily, saying such labels violated his constitutional right to seek re-election.
11.47am – Eddie Chu against Andrew Leung
Independent lawmaker Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, who has been querying Legco presidential hopeful Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen’s British nationality issue, declares this after taking his oath: “Democratic self-determination! Tyranny must perish one day! Objection to Leung Kwan-yuen’s presidency!”
11.37am – Helena Wong calls for water testing
Democratic Party lawmaker Helena Wong Pik-wan, who exposed a lead-in-water scandal at local public housing estates last year, calls out after finishing her oath:
“Scrap the 8.31 [a reference to Beijing’s white paper issued on August 31, 2014, determining the framework in which the city’s chief executive was to be elected]! Down with CY Leung! Water Supplies Department must test water immediately! No delay!”
11.21am – Raymond Chan’s declaration
Before taking his oath, People Power lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi-chuen tore apart the government’s statement on oath-taking issued yesterday. He declared the government had no right to intervene in Legco’s affairs.
He then read his oath, and, before he walked away, he shouted: “I am a Hongkonger and I want genuine universal suffrage. Filibuster against evil laws; confrontation for public good. Down with Leung Chun-ying!”
11.17am – Long Hair drama
The first oath-taking fireworks: “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, holding a yellow umbrella – a symbol of the pro-democracy Occupy movement of 2014 – shouts, “Civil disobedience! People determine their own future! We need no approval from Chinese Communist Party!”
He reads out the oath word for word, only splitting the phrases up so that he swore allegiance to “Hong Kong… SAR” and to “the People….’s Republic of China”.
At the end of the oath he chants: “Scrap NPC 8.31! I want double universal suffrage,” referring to the stringent reform framework decreed by the National People’s Congress last year. He then rips up a prop Basic Law.
11.16am – Regina Ip takes her oath
Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee was the 14th lawmaker to take an oath. She was tipped to run in the chief executive election next year, but in a recent opinion poll, she was ranked the second-most unpopular candidate – slightly more popular than the incumbent Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.
11.10am – Doubts about favourite for Legco presidency
Newly elected lawmaker and leading vote-getter Eddie Chu Hoi-dick cast doubt over Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen’s suitability as president, citing a lack of clarity as to whether he still had the right to reside in the UK
In a letter dated October 11, the Home Office informed Leung that “the renunciation of British nationality affects a person’s right to live in the UK”.
“’Affects’ is an unclear word,” Chu said, appearing with fellow localist lawmakers Lau Siu-lai and Nathan Law Kwun-chung. “We will raise questions on this point and we hope our questioning will not be stopped.”
11.05am – Veteran lawmakers sworn in
The five most senior lawmakers took their oaths without incident: James To Kun-sun, Leung Yiu-chung, Abraham Razack, Tommy Cheung Yu-Yan and Joseph Lee Kok-long.
As Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen comes forward, “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, holding a yellow umbrella at his seat, shouts “foreign national!”.
10.50am – A nationality renounced
Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, the Business and Professionals Alliance lawmaker vying to be Legco president, showed fellow lawmakers documents stating he had applied to renounce his British nationality.
New People’s Party lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, a former security minister, said the documents were satisfactory, adding the Home Office’s certificate of his renunciation was “on the way”.
“I think Mr Leung has completed renunciation formalities,” she said. “His application for renunciation has been accepted … and registered.”
Arriving in chambers, Leung did not comment on his nationality issue, saying only that: “I hope to have [the lawmakers’] support.”
10.15am – This member’s got wheels
Pilot-turned-lawmaker Jeremy Tam Man-ho rode in on his motor bike. The Civic Party’s new star said he rode in on two motorised wheels “not just to be cool, but also to show my determination to deal with the city’s complex transport issues with my expertise”. He is a charter member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.
To make time for his lawmaking duties, Tam has left his pilot role and become a member of the crew management team at his company.
As the city’s 70 newly elected lawmakers swear in one by one at the sixth session of the Legislative Council from 11am today, government officials will be watching anxiously like never before.
The oath-taking ceremony is touching a nerve this year because six localists calling for Hong Kong’s self-determination were elected to the city’s legislature. Two have talked of plans to work their pro-independence calls into the wording of the official oath, which requires them to uphold the Basic Law and swear allegiance to Hong Kong as a special administrative region of China.
To avoid turning the occasion into a platform for separatist calls, the government warned yesterday that those who refused to take their oath properly could lose their seats.
In the past, some lawmakers, like “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, managed to pass muster by reading out the oath word for word while adding their own slogans before and after the oath.
After the oath-taking ceremony, the Legislative Council is to elect a new president. The candidates are Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, a functional-constituency member who has returned to Legco four times uncontested, and the Democratic Party’s “super-seat” councillor James To Kun-sun.
Although Leung has been blasted by many including his allies for a purportedly high-handed style, he is poised to win the post due to support from the pro-establishment camp, whose members predominate the chamber.
Hong Kong vote count, September 4, 2016. Getty Images
By Agence France-Presse
5 September 2016 • 2:41am
A new generation of young Hong Kong politicians advocating a break from Beijing looked set to become lawmakers for the first time Monday in the biggest poll since mass pro-democracy rallies in 2014.
A record 2.2 million people voted in the city-wide legislative election which ended in the early hours of Monday and saw activists who support Hong Kong’s independence from China standing for the first time.
It comes as fears grow that Beijing is tightening its grip on the semi-autonomous city in a range of areas, from politics to education and media.
In a landmark victory, at least three of a handful of young campaigners calling for much more distance from Beijing were forecast to win seats with 90 percent of the vote counted.
Nathan Law, 23, a leader of the 2014 pro-democracy rallies, campaigning for his political party Demosisto Credit: Getty Images
Among them is Nathan Law, 23, leader of the 2014 “Umbrella Movement” rallies, who is guaranteed a seat after coming second in his constituency behind a pro-Beijing candidate.
Mr Law and his new party Demosisto are calling for a referendum on independence, emphasising Hong Kongers’ right to choose.
“I think Hong Kongers really wanted change,” Law said, celebrating his win.
“Young people have a sense of urgency when it comes to the future.”
Mr Law will now take up a seat in the Legislative Council (LegCo), Hong Kong’s lawmaking body.
Localist political group Youngspiration candidate Yau Wai-ching, centre, campaigns during the Legislative Council election in Taikoo, Hong Kong Credit: Getty Images
Most established pro-democracy politicians do not support the notion of independence and there were concerns in the democratic camp that new activists would split the vote, triggering overall losses.
If the democrats lose four seats, they will forfeit the one-third voting bloc they need to veto bills, stacking the already skewed legislature even more in favour of Beijing.
However, early results showed the democrats are likely to hold on to that veto power.
It is as good a result as the democrats could hope for, given that the framework of LegCo favours Beijing.
The structure of the council makes it almost impossible for the democracy camp to take a majority as 30 of the council’s 70 seats are elected by special interest groups representing a range of businesses and social sectors. Those seats go predominantly to pro-Beijing candidates.
Fears that Hong Kong’s freedoms are disappearing were fanned after five city booksellers known for salacious titles about Beijing politicians disappeared, resurfacing in detention on the mainland.
That fuelled the fire of the “localist” movement, which grew out of the failure of the 2014 rallies to win political reform pushing for more distance from Beijing.
It saw the emergence of young campaigners demanding outright independence for Hong Kong – a subject previously taboo.
Hong Kong was handed back to China by Britain in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” agreement intended to protect its freedoms and partial autonomy for 50 years. However, many young campaigners believe that deal has failed.
Hong Kongers protest against Beijing-backed reforms Hong Kongers protest against Beijing-backed reforms Play! 01:12
Pro-democracy campaigners with megaphones urged voters to get to the polls Sunday to prevent the LegCo swinging further towards Beijing.
At some polling stations there were snaking queues until until 2:30 am (1830 Sunday GMT) – four hours later than the scheduled cut-off time – with a turnout of almost 60 percent of 3.7 million voters.
That compares with 53 percent in the last LegCo elections in 2012.
Results announced in Legislative Council election, with surprise wins for Eddie Chu Hoi-Dick and Occupy student leader Nathan Law Kwun-chung
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp looks set to retain its veto power to block bills in the new legislature, as a host of new faces have emerged as winners, sweeping aside veteran lawmakers.
The shift shows pro-democracy voters are prepared to back a new political generation that focuses on achieving a more democratic future rather than a radical pursuit of the city’s independence from China, pundits said on Monday morning as the first election results were announced.
However, the pro-Beijing camp will continue to dominate the legislature thanks in part to its heavy presence in the trade-based functional constituencies.
The election is the first to take place since the Occupy protests in 2014, and comes half a year before a new chief executive will be elected for Hong Kong.
Among the unexpected results was the victory of Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, who won more than 84,000 votes in New Territories West, a surprise result for a social activist with no party backup.
Two other moderate backers of self-determination also won in their election debut, including Occupy student leader Nathan Law Kwun-chung and Polytechnic University lecturer Lau Siu-lai, who came in first among pro-democracy candidates in Hong Kong Island and Kowloon West respectively.
In the race for six seats in the Kowloon West constituency, the DAB’s Ann Chiang Lai-wan topped the race, with 52,541 votes. Other winners were Priscilla Leung Mei-fun of the Business Professional Alliance, who bagged 49,745 votes; localist Lau Siu-lai, with 38,183 votes; the Civic Party’s Claudia Mo Man-ching, with 32,323 votes and the Democratic Party’s Wong Pik-wan, with 26,037 votes.
Veteran radical lawmaker Wong Yuk-man lost his seat in Kowloon West as he was defeated for the sixth seat by Youngspiration’s Yau Wai-ching, who calls for Hong Kong’s self-determination, and received 20,643 votes.
The balance of power in Kowloon East remained unchanged, with the two pan-democratic parties keeping two seats and the pro-Beijing camp maintaining three seats.
The DAB’s Wilson Or Chong-sing led the race with 51,516 votes, followed by Democratic Party incumbent Wu Chi-wai with 50,309 votes. Pro-Beijing independent Paul Tse Wai-chun was re-elected with 47,627 votes.
The Federation of Trade Union’s incumbent Wong Kwok-kin came fourth with 47,318 votes.
The Civic Party’s Jeremy Tam Man-ho succeeded his party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit to fill the last seat, with 45,408 votes.
The candidate who advocated independence after entering the election, Chan Chak-to, bagged 12,854 votes. He came eighth place after two other radicals, Civic Passion’s Wong Yeung-tat and People Power’s Tam Tak-chi.
Together with Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chung-hang, Youngspiration is likely to win two seats in the new Legco.
On the other hand, the Labour Party lost two veteran lawmakers, Lee Cheuk-yan and Cyd Ho Sau-lan.
Frederick Fung Kin-kee, a super seat lawmaker, lost in the race in New Territories West.
“This is a grave challenge for traditional pan-democrats,” Professor Ma Ngok, a political scientist from Chinese University, said. “If the traditional parties fail to change their image, they will continue to face challenges from new faces.”
New Territories West
Independent candidate Eddie Chu Hoi-dick created what his team called “miracle” by bagging 84,141 votes without any party backing in New Territories West, leading the first runner-up by 13,495 votes.
But the landslide victory of Chu came as Labour Party veteran Lee Cheuk-yan was unseated by pro-establishment solicitor Junius Ho Kwan-yiu, who grabbed the last seat by a margin of 5,508 votes.
The balance of power in New Territories West remains unchanged, with the Beijing-friendly bloc maintaining five of the nine seats.
New People’s Party vice-chairman Michael Tien Puk-sun came second by garnering 70,646 votes.
Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong incumbents Ben Chan Han-pan and Leung Che-cheung were also re-elected, with 58,673 and 50,190 votes respectively.
Alice Mak Mei-kuen, of the Federation of Trade Unions, secured a second term with 49,680 votes.
Meanwhile, two new faces from the pro-democracy bloc were also elected.
Polytechnic University lecturer Cheng Chung-tai secured 54,496 votes, becoming the first Civic Passion member to enter the legislature.
Democrat Andrew Wan Siu-kin managed to win a seat by winning 41,704 votes after his party was completely uprooted in 2012.
Civic Party incumbent Kwok Ka-ki kept his seat with 42,334 votes.
Hong Kong Island
On Hong Kong Island, Tanya Chan from the Civic Party secured a seat with 35,404 votes. High-profile businessman Ricky Wong Wai-kay won 33,323 votes.
Nathan Law Kwun-chung won 50,818 votes and Ted Hui Chi-fung, of the Democratic Party, scored 42,499 votes.
The other three seats went to pro-establishment candidates. New People’s Party chairwoman Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee won 60,760 votes. Kwok Wai-keung of Federation of Trade Unions bagged 45,925 votes.
The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong – formerly represented by Legco president Tsang Yok-sing in the constituency – got 41,152 votes, with Cheung Kwok-kwan being elected.
Dr Li Pang-kwong, of Lingnan University’s public governance programme, called it a change of climate.
“More democracy voters have changed to supporting localism,” Li said. “But at the same time the support for radicalism is waning.”
Radical lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, one of the fervent supporters for filibustering, is fighting a narrow battle with pro-establishment candidate Christine Fong Kwok-shan in New Territories East.
The Legislative Council election is likely to return at least 18 pro-democracy lawmakers out of the 35 geographical constituency seats, with all eyes on whether Tanya Chan of the Civic Party can fight off businessman Ricky Wong Wai-kay and take the last seat in Hong Kong Island.
Chan, once a top poll favourite, suffered from last-minute calls from Occupy organiser Benny Tai Yiu-ting for democracy supporters to vote strategically in favour of the underperformers in polls
On the pro-establishment front, most of the results matched pollsters’ predictions. Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee ran first in Hong Kong Island, as did Ann Chiang Lai-wan in Kowloon West.
Eunice Yung Hoi-yan helped New People’s Party, led by Ip, get a new seat in New Territories East.
The Labour Party’s Lee Cheuk-yan admitted defeat, saying his party was facing a crisis after he and Cyd Ho Sau-lan failed to retain their seats, leaving Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung as the sole representative in the legislature.
He used to focus on labour rights, while Ho and Cheung specialised in LGBT issues and the disability rights respectively.
“How could one person handle so many issues?” he said. “We need to figure a way out as losing seats would also mean a huge cut to our resources and community network.”