Hong Kong’s 'Anti-Beijing' Legislators Ruffle Feathers Taking Oath

Hong Kong’s 'Anti-Beijing' Legislators Ruffle Feathers Taking Oath
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

What you need to know

Despite warnings yesterday, Hong Kong's new generation of lawmakers are causing trouble on their first day in parliament.

Several of the newest additions to Hong Kong’s parliament have immediately snubbed tradition while swearing in to the Legislative Council.

Sixtus "Baggio" Leung Chung-hang (梁頌恆), is convenor of Youngspiration, and one of a group of young anti-China legislators who swept into the Legislative Council in last month’s election.

Taking his oath today, Leung, 30, spoke in English and wore a cape with the writing, “Hong Kong is not China.”

Before reading the official his oath, Leung said, “I would like to declare that, as a member of the Legislative Council, I shall pay earnest efforts in keeping guard over interests of the Hong Kong nation.”

Leung is considered part of Hong Kong’s "localist" movement, and won a seat in the New Territories East area after the candidacy of pro-independence advocate Edward Leung Tin-kei (梁天琦) was ruled unlawful.

He was followed minutes later by fellow Youngspiration member and localist Yau Wai-ching (游蕙禎). Yau laid the same cape next to the speaker’s lectern and also spoke in English. Yau, 25, is the youngest woman in Hong Kong’s parliament after winning a seat as a member for Kowloon West. In taking the oath today, she swore at several points when referring to China.

Demosistō leader Nathan Law (羅冠聰), was another of the new generation of parliamentarians to take oath today. And Law, 23, using both Cantonese and English, also broke from script.

“You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind,” Law said.

Yesterday, the Hong Kong government warned the new members that oaths must be taken in a “manner and form that is lawful.” That included swearing to uphold the Basic Law [Hong Kong’s constitutional document] and swearing allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.

The government said that if a member swears his or her oath in “a manner or form” that was inconsistent with the rules, it would be “unlawful.”

“The ordinance provides that any person who declines or neglects to take an oath duly requested which they are required to take shall vacate office or be disqualified from entering on it,” the government said.

In taking his oath, long-time pro-democracy politician “Long-Hair” Leung Kwok-hung (梁國雄) carried a yellow umbrella, a symbol of the 2014 Umbrella Revolution and occupy movement.

First Editor: Olivia Yang
Second Editor: J. Michael Cole


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