Beijing to put pan-dems out of LegCo misery?

All (remaining) pan-dem lawmakers plan to quit if Beijing decrees loyalty requirements that would lead to some of them being disqualified (essentially for filibustering). Reports from HK01 (via here) suggest that Beijing officials would be happy to see this happen – in other words, they see ending the symbolic presence of opponents as more important than maintaining a shred of legitimacy for the Legislative Council. A Leninist system cannot accommodate dissenting voices. Presumably, the (mainly pan-dem) District Councils will come in for similar ‘loyalty test’ purging.

Pan-dem lawmakers have no means to influence the puppet Hong Kong administration through the rigged and weak LegCo. All they have been able to do is use the chamber as a platform for protest, much of which officials portray as childish disruption. It’s ironic that the Chinese government has to point a gun at the pan-dem legislators’ heads to make them do what they should have done some time ago.

There’s also a suggestion that elected pan-dems (through District, LegCo and primary polls) should establish a virtual assembly. Whether it’s called a ‘discussion forum’ or a ‘People’s Parliament’, it would drive the CCP nuts. It will be interesting to see how Beijing officials would stamp it out: through attempts at Internet censorship, by arresting participants for sedition/secession, or whatever.

The US has put sanctions on another four people for their roles in imposing the National Security regime on Hong Kong. Edwina Lau and Steve Li of the NatSec Police find themselves barred from the US, along with two Mainland officials (job titles, etc here). 

And local grassroots (or at least woodland) protest continues. This weekend’s hike was from Pokfulam Reservoir to Aberdeen (mainly following Section 2 of the Hong Kong Trail). If you keep your eyes peeled, you can spot butterflies, flowers, and quite a range of rebellious slogans. This one (next to a water catchment thing) reads ‘Communist bandits’ – a phrase dating from the Kuomintang.

I remember years ago, when Microsoft came up with its first Chinese-language word processing program, Mainland users were shocked to find the phrase in the dictionary/thesaurus (the software had been written in Taiwan).

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10 Responses to Beijing to put pan-dems out of LegCo misery?

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    The remaining Pan Dems should not quit, thereby forever giving the CCP and lapdogs the excuse “they quit…so they and their causes have no legitimacy or say in the future of Hong Kong”.
    The remainders should stay until they are finally forced out (inevitable) over whatever bullshit charges dreamed up, thus giving the HKCCPSAR government further illegitimacy in the eyes of HK citizens and the world.

  2. Reactor #4 says:

    @Chinese Netizen

    If you feel that strongly about taking a stance, why don’t you take up the mantle? There’s nothing stopping you from canvasing on a platform of “I promise to be a right tit in Legco”.

  3. Big Al says:

    I fully agree. The Pan Dems should stay in until they are forced out by the CCP on – dare I say it? – trumped-up charges! And when the fat lady (say, Maria Tam) finally sings, that will be yet another nail in Hong Kong’s coffin. The world may care, but the CCP won’t give a shite.
    I also agree that all of these “retired” Pan Dems should form a shadow government as this would irritate CCP beyond belief. Particularly if, somehow, it did not fall foul of the nebulous NSL, either through its name or having a particularly cunning structure. And particularly if it was funded by Jimmy Lai. It’s all in the name: This reminds me of when the Guangdong government, many years ago, was caught running illegal betting shops on the Hong Kong horse races – they said it wasn’t gambling, it was an “intellectual guessing game”.

  4. Mark Bradley says:

    I agree with Chinese Netizen; the same thought has crossed my mind. And then after that, setup the people’s parliament.

  5. Cassowary says:

    One (not insignificant) use of having pan-dems in an otherwise powerless Legco is that NGOs and advocacy groups of all types feed questions to friendly legislators, which the government is then obligated to answer. That doesn’t mean they don’t try to obfuscate, but they can’t ignore it and they can’t brush aside requests for data. That’s a large part of how the non profit sector and the media obtain hard numbers on everything from village development to lead water contamination. With only DAB hacks in there, we’ll get only the information the government chooses to release. Considering they are now willing to arrest reporters for asking for data outside of narrowly defined purposes, civil society will be impoverished.

  6. A Poor Man says:

    Staying and waiting to get forced out might mean having to serve some prison time, and I imagine that the conditions in the can would be quite unpleasant – no air conditioning, squat toilets, bad food, etc. While I see the merits of them hanging on as long as they can, I would understand it if they would rather not take the risk.

  7. Low Profile says:

    Watching Fernando Cheung asking hard questions about Cathay Pacific in LegCo a couple of days ago reinforces my belief that they should stay. As Cassowary says, nowhere else can they ask tough questions of those in power – and be guaranteed media coverage. That said, I thinkj they should do more to remind the government – and the public – of the source of their legitimacy. “My constituents want to know…” is a good opener to any difficult question.

  8. Joe Blow says:

    If the pan-Dems leave LegCo they won’t receive a salary anymore. This means they won’t be able to do all the hard, dirty political work like they do now. After all they will have to get another job to make a living. This will not serve the purpose of democracy. So while it may feel good for 5 seconds to be ‘principled’, it is not a practical move. As some German (Bertold Brecht, if you must know) once said: “Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral”. With other words: you can’t eat principles.

  9. Conference says:

    Clearly what we are moving to, inch by inch, is revision of the current practice in the Legislative Counsel to approach that of the mainland. What we have today is the common Anglo-Saxon or perhaps more broadly Western approach with open discussion and documentation the same. Hence, this link:

    Does anyone here know how this works in the mainland in their (various) congresse(s) and committees, if any? Do the representatives have the ability to ask questions? Is there a transcript of each session?

    Inquiring minds require an answer.

  10. Boris Badanov says:

    The HK peoples congress was born today.

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