What you need to know
A different take on oath-taking in Hong Kong's parliament.
A few newly elected members of the Hong Kong Legislative Council (LegCo) have decided that they are unwilling to take the oath, a requirement for the commencement of their roles as lawmakers. Instead, they variously made alterations to the oath-taking process by way of tempo changes (taking few-second pauses between words), appending new paragraphs to the oath or changing the pronunciation of words such as “Republic” and “China” into derogatory forms considered offensive to locals and even supporters of their cause.
Taking swift advantage of the controversy, the pro-establishment camp within LegCo not only harshly condemned the actions of these new member-elects, but also attempted legal action to oust them from the council altogether. In itself, the wording of the original oath is straightforward and neutral, without even any mention of allegiance to China as the mother country.
This is in contrast to the much more compromising and legally dubious “Confirmation Form” introduced before the LegCo election process. It is inconsistent of these new member-elects to have willingly signed the “Confirmation Form” and then deem the wording of the long-established sworn-in oath hard to swallow. Such gestures are obviously meant as a political statement, but such statements could have been more wisely made without alienating supporters, after their makers have planted a firmer footing on LegCo ground.
The oath-taking fiasco has exposed a fatal weakness in some legislators outside the pro-establishment camp: a self-destructive resistance to inconsequential rituals.
Enlightened thus, the "Xihuan" (nickname of the Liaison Office) controlled government has in no time come up with a new set of initiation rituals, the latest offensive designed to make it impossible to go through by any legislator suffering from “ritual intolerance”:
- Pay respects to Guan-Di (patron saint of the underworld)
- Behead a cock as a ritual sacrifice
- Take a blood oath — to prove one’s readiness to embrace the Dark Side
- Kowtow-aloud to SAR and national emblems — forcefulness gauged with sensors
- Kiss the leader — an allegiance performance only true princes and princesses of "Xihuan" can pull off
- Tattoo a sign of allegiance on one’s back — one does not get to fight the powers without some sacrifices!!
Edited by Edward White