Wong op­ti­mistic on LegCo work as ‘pan-democrats’ be­have bet­ter

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - INTERVIEW - By JOSEPH LI in Hong Kong joseph@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

Wo n g Kw o k - k i n , a l aw - maker since 2008, had gone through tough times in the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil. Re­cently, he ob­ser ved that the “pan­demo­cratic” law­mak­ers have been be­hav­ing be tter, and LegCo’s op­er­a­tions are re­turn­ing to nor­mal and the so­cial at­mos­phere has eased.

A dozen “pan-demo­cratic” law­mak­ers were in­vited to ac­tiv­i­ties and the ban­quet given in honor of Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping dur­ing his visit to Hong Kong ear­lier this month, and they had re­frained from cre­at­ing trou­ble as the city cel­e­brated the 20th an­niver­sary of its re­turn to the moth­er­land, noted Wong.

The in­vi­ta­tions to cer­tain mod­er­ate “pan-democrats” had made the “na­tivist” branch of the op­po­si­tion camp en­vi­ous as they had openly called for a boy­cott of the 20th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions, but the call was not heeded.

Asked to com­ment on why only part of the “pan-demo­cratic” law­mak­ers were in­vited to at­tend the ban­quet to cel­e­brate the 20th an­niver­sary of Hong Kong’s re­turn to the moth­er­land, Wong said dur- ing past events, all law­mak­ers were in­vited but some of them cre­ated trou­ble. “So this time, only a few were in­vited. The main­stream ‘pan-democrats’ also drew a line with the rad­i­cals, na­tivists and ‘self-de­ter­mi­na­tion’ groups by re­fus­ing to boy­cott the cel­e­bra­tions and so the over­all at­mos­phere has im­proved.”

At the LegCo ques­tion-an­dan­swer ses­sion last Wed­nes­day, rad­i­cal law­maker Le­ung Kwok-hung, also known as “L ong Hair ”, was the only t r o u b l e m a k e r, p r o t e s t i n g and scream­ing from his seat be­fore he was ex­pelled from the coun­cil cham­ber.

“The mod­er­ates, such as the Demo­cratic Party and Civic Party, are frus­trated and are hop­ing to find a way out,” Wong said.

“In re­cent years, they had op­posed the gov­ern­ment on most is­sues, strug­gled and caused dis­tur­bances but that was not good to them. Hong Ko n g c i t i z e n s a r e g e tt i n g bored, and they (‘pan-democrats’) have not got what they wanted — the so-called “real uni­ver­sal suf­frage”. Now, with a new chief ex­ec­u­tive, they are try­ing new ways to co­op­er­ate with Lam in­stead of con­fronting her.

At the ques­tion-and-an­swer ses­sion, James To Kun-sun of the Demo­cratic Party de­manded re­open­ing the po­lit­i­cal re­form, while the Civic Party’s Alvin Ye­ung Ngok-kiu made a fuss by sug­gest­ing le­gal­iza­tion of Ar­ti­cle 22 of the Ba­sic Law but he did not men­tion Ar­ti­cle 23.

“They were just po­lit­i­cal ges­tures of the ‘pan-democrats’ to please their sup­port­ers. We must al­low them time and space to turn around. If they be­have too nor­mally, they may anger their sup­port­ers and in­vite at­tacks from the rad­i­cals as well,” Wong com­mented.

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