Saturday, 20 June 2015

The Bickering Continues

The Liaison Office of the Central Government in the HKSAR in Western
The fallout from the crucial vote on the Hong Kong government's political reform package continues to escalate, with members of the pro-Beijing camp bickering amongst themselves over what happened on Thursday.

Thirty-one of them walked out of the Legislative Council chamber moments before the vote was taken, thinking it would help bring a 15-minute delay as they waited for New Territories strongman Lau Wong-fat who was delayed in traffic.

A remorseful Jeffrey Lam apologized for the walkout
Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee couldn't help but cry on Commercial Radio yesterday and business representative and Executive Council member Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung, who initiated the walkout, profusely apologized.

The 28 to 8 vote against the reform package was terribly embarrassing for Beijing. Soon after the vote, the Liaison Office began calling the pro-Beijing lawmakers who dutifully voted for the package, which was confirmed by Liberal Party honorary chairman James Tien Pei-chun.

Others who bungled the vote were summoned to the office in Western to explain what had happened, similar to naughty school children who are called into the principal's office.

Independent lawmaker Ng Leung-sing also went to Western. How did he explain why he was there?

Ng Leung-sing admits regular chats with the liaison office
"I have regular dialogue with the liaison office," Ng said. "Of course it was unavoidable for us to discuss what happened on Thursday."

Ah-ha! So anyone left-leaning has scheduled chats with the liaison office... it really does confirm the on going sardonic saying that "Hong Kong is ruled by Western", as the liaison office is located in Sai Ying Pun.

However, the liaison office calling the shots is considered illegal according to Article 22 of the Basic Law which says:

No department of the Central People's Government and no province, autonomous region, or municipality directly under the Central Government may interfere in the affairs which the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region administers on its own in accordance with this law.

If there is a need for departments of the Central Government, or for provinces, autonomous regions, or municipalities directly under the Central Government to set up offices in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, they must obtain the consent of the government of the Region and the approval of the Central People's Government.

All offices set up in the Hong Kong Administrative Region by departments of the Central Government, or by provinces, autonomous regions, or municipalities directly under the Central Government, and the personnel of these offices shall abide by the laws of the Region.

So -- can we have less interference from the liaison office now that this silly fiasco is all over? Obviously its meddling in Hong Kong affairs has been a disaster.

But the Central Government probably doesn't see it that way and is possibly now doubling or even tripling its efforts to ensure things go its way despite the promise of "one country, two systems"...

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