The localist Youngspiration party has created a parody video in which they sing and dance in apparent support for the Basic Law, a requirement for candidates running in the Legislative Council election in September.
New Territories West constituency candidates Wong Chun-kit and Baggio Leung Chun-hang appear in the video, inspired by actor Stephen Chow’s 2001 film Shaolin Soccer, singing “Basic Dafa smart, ho ho yeah” under the banner of “Basic Dafa is good.”
The phrase is a nod to the religious movement Falun Gong’s “Falun Dafa is good” slogan, where dafa means grand law in Mandarin, thus Basic Dafa hints at the Basic Law.
Their video came after a new confirmation form issued by the Electoral Affairs Commission two days before the nomination period of the election stated on July 16.
The form asked candidates to pledge to uphold three Basic Law articles – numbers 1, 12 and 159(4) – which state that Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China, that Hong Kong shall enjoy a high degree of autonomy and come directly under the central government, and that no amendment to the Basic Law shall contravene the established basic policies of China regarding Hong Kong.
Candidates were already required to declare they uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to Hong Kong in the original nomination form. The new form was seen as a measure to restrict candidates supporting Hong Kong independence from running in the election.
Localist groups often take an anti-communist stance and have a close association with movements promoting the expansion of Hong Kong’s autonomy, but may have different views on whether Hong Kong should go independent.
Wong had said he personally supported Hong Kong independence, but it is not a policy adopted by his party. He refused to sign the new form.
Edward Leung Tin-kei of Hong Kong Indigenous also refused to sign the new form, and later received an email from Returning Officer Cora Ho Lai-sheung, asking him whether he will still continue to advocate and promote Hong Kong independence.
Leung criticised the move, saying that it was the first time in Hong Kong history that political censorship was carried out regarding candidates’ political ideals in an election.
Ho, who is also Sha Tin District Officer, reportedly criticised the Mong Kok clashes – after which Leung was charged with participating in and inciting a riot – at a Sha Tin Rural Committee event in February, according to pro-Beijing newspaper Ta Kung Pao.
It sparked a controversy as to whether Ho would remain fair as the Returning Officer for the constituency Leung is running in.
Youngspiration said in a Facebook post that the video was dedicated to Ho and Barnabas Fung Wah, the chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission.
On Monday, two separate judicial reviews have been filed by Leung and League of Social Democrats’ Avery Ng Man-yuen, challenging the Electoral Affairs Commission’s new procedures.