Chief Executive Carrie Lam rejected criticism yesterday (May 19th) over plans to press ahead with the second reading of a controversial national anthem bill through thuggish tactics to control Legislative Council (LegCo), saying it was “in accordance with” legislative procedures. However, the fact was that the pro-Beijing camp used violence, violented the Rules of Procedures of LegCo, defiant the rule of law to advance Beijing’s agenda—using national security law to suppress anti-extradition law movement and peace-loving citizens in Hong Kong.
Last Friday, the president of the Legislative Council (LegCo) Andrew Leung announced plans to replace democrat Dennis Kwok with pro-Beijing Chan Kin-por as presiding member. The so-called “plan” was to advance their political agenda by relying on security guards to expel the pro-democratic lawmakers with violence. Thus Starry Lee, the new chairperson of the House of Committee in LegCo, was “elected” to the position.
The first unlawful step to replace the chairperson of the House Committee in LegCo in Hong Kong: Security Guards escorted Chan Kin-por to host the meeting.
Step 2: the Security Guards ousted pro-democratic lawmakers like with violence like the policemen in the mainland. Ted Hui was seriously injured.
Step 3, expelling every pro-democratic lawmakers.
Starry Lee, the proxy of Beijing, was “elected” as the new chairperson with 40:0.
Lee, Beijing’s candidate for the next CE, will resume the legislation process of the controversial national security law—Article 23 of the Basic Law. A 2003 attempt to legislate Article 23 failed after an estimated 500,000 people took to the streets in protest. The government has always had enough votes to pass the law but has put it on hold due to backlash.
At a press briefing before the Executive Council meeting on Tuesday, despite of the evidence of unlawfulness in the LegCo, Lam said it was “entirely incorrect” to say the government was pushing for the bill to be passed urgently. The proposed law – which seeks to criminalize “misuse” and distortion of March of the Volunteers – is set to resume its Second Reading debate in the Legislative Council next Wednesday.
Tom Grundy, head of Hong Kong Free Press, asked the CE three questions on the government’s thuggish tactics in the LegCo might be repeating the same mistakes during the anti-extradition movement. However, Lam accused him of bias, complained about online media, misquoted Grundy’s comments on local business concerns, and eventually evaded all three questions.
Whenever the CE lies, she would raise her eyebrow, blink her eyes quickly, and some fake smiles. CE used all these techniques when evading Grundy’s questions. The reporters of attending the press conference were “tired of Lam’s excuses, groundless accusations against the protestors and pro-democratic lawmakers and above all her perpetual lies”.
Lam said the bills committee finished scrutinizing the national anthem bill last May, and the proposed law would be given priority amidst a backlog of legislative business.
She added seven months had been wasted while the House Committee struggled to elect a new chair, whom the government would consult about the date of tabling the bill to the full council.
“Because this is the first priority bill in terms of chronology of events, so there isn’t even a subjective assessment,” she said. “I don’t understand why for doing such a proper thing, the administration is to apologize.”
If the national anthem bill is passed, anyone found guilty could face a fine of up to HK$50,000 and three years in prison. Critics have said the proposed law threatens to erode freedom of expression in the city.
At the morning media briefing, Lam also responded to questions about developments on legislating Article 23 of the Basic Law – a constitutional requirement that would allow the government to enact national security laws.
The city’s leader said there have been “close to terrorist incidents” in Hong Kong over the past year; therefore, it was “understandable” that the law had reentered public conversation.
“It has been almost 23 years since the handover and [the passing of Article 23] is still not achieved, which is disappointing,” she said, adding that she had no further comments on the matter for the time being.