Ousted leg­is­la­tors ar­chi­tects of their own mis­for­tune: Fan

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - HK | INTERVIEW -

“The op­po­si­tion law­mak­ers, in­clud­ing some lawyers and bar­ris­ters, es­corted Le­ung and Yau last time and they did it again this time. This showed they have not learnt from their mis­takes and crit­i­cism lev­eled at them,” ex­plained Fan.

“These peo­ple al­ways claim they up­hold rule of law in Hong Kong. I won­der if this is only a slo­gan.”

Some le­gal prac tition­ers said the dis­graced law­mak­ers and those who es­corted them ap­peared to have com­mit­ted the crim­i­nal of­fense of con­tempt of court.

The op­po­si­tion camp re­acted fiercely to the dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tions, ac­cus­ing the gov­ern­ment of rob­bing their seats against the choices of vot­ers but they dared not crit­i­cize the court.

Fan added: “Al­though you are cho­sen by vot­ers, you can­not break the law. Leg­is­la­tors must show good ex­am­ples and obey the law, while oaths are gov­erned by the Oaths and Dec­la­ra­tions Or­di­nance.

“They are the ones who dis­re­spect their vot­ers by not tak­ing the oath solemnly and sin­cerely.”

Fa n n o t e d t h a t t h e d i s - q u a l i f i e d l aw m a ke r s s a i d they would lodge an ap­peal. “Be­fore they ap­peal, they must obey the ex­ist­ing rul­ing, but they se­lec­tively obey only court rul­ings ben­e­fi­cial to them,” she said.

Fa n a l s o s a i d : “C e r t a i n me­dia or­ga­ni­za­tions and young peo­ple are in­flu­enced by such er­ro­neous con­cepts, think­ing they can do what­ever they like in the name of democ­racy. And that re­sulted in dis­tur­bances such as ‘Oc­cupy Cen­tral’ and the Mong Kok riot.”

Some com­men­ta­tors said Fan, who was LegCo pres­i­dent from 1997 to 2008, and her suc­ces­sor Jasper Tsang Yo k - s i n g ( p r e s i d e n t f r o m 2008 un­til last year) were too le­nient with peo­ple not tak­ing the oaths prop­erly.

But Fan re­called: “In 2004 Le­ung Kwok-hung wanted to add some­thing to the oath but the LegCo Sec­re­tar­iat ob­jected. He sought a ju­di­cial re­view and the judge said he should fol­low the ex­act word­ing.

“It was the LegCo sec­re­tary­gen­eral, not me, who ad­min­is­tered his oath. After I was elected LegCo pres­i­dent, no one ques­tioned the le­git­i­macy of his oath; so I took no ac­tion. In 2008, the sec­re­tary-general again ad­min­is­tered the oaths. The oaths of these two peo­ple were clearly not in or­der but Tsang al­lowed them to re-take the oaths.

“So­ci­ety has changed. In the early years, only one or two did tricks with the oath but over a dozen peo­ple messed around (last year). And oaths with ‘in­de­pen­dence’ el­e­ments are the most out­ra­geous,” Fan said.

PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY

For­mer Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil pres­i­dent Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai tells China Daily the four dis­qual­i­fied law­mak­ers are to blame for their wrong­do­ings and that leg­is­la­tors should show good ex­am­ples and abide by the law.

PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY

Al­bert Chen Hung-yee, law pro­fes­sor from the Univer­sity of Hong Kong, says the four dis­qual­i­fied law­mak­ers paid the price as swear­ing-in an­tics end with ex­pul­sion.

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