Hong Kong Politics & Protest

Pro-establishment lawmaker suggests harsher penalties for disorderly conduct in LegCo

Pro-establishment lawmaker Paul Tse has said that he will look into changing procedural rules at the Legislative Council in the aftermath of what’s been called “uncivilised behaviour” by LegCo member Leung Kwok-hung. “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung snatched files from a top official during a panel meeting. The incident took place last Tuesday during a development meeting to discuss a controversial housing programme in Wang Chau, Yuen Long, which has been the site of many protests.

Paul Tse

Paul Tse. Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

Tse said that he hopes that a penalty system can be set up against disorderly conduct within this legislative term.

“[They may] for example, pay a fine or not be allowed to attend the next meeting, or a series of meetings, for a period of time,” he said, according to Stand News. However, he said that the issue would be passed to a committee to discuss what constitutes as disorderly conduct and what penalties would be applied.

At the moment there is no provision in LegCo’s rules of procedure that deal with repeated grossly disorderly conduct of members in the council or at committee meetings.
The pro-establishment camp is now in a stronger position to pass through new rules after the opposition lost the votes of two ousted localist lawmakers, Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching.
Yau Wai-ching

Yau Wai-ching outside the High Court. Photo: Chantal Yuen.

Yau and Leung were unable to take their seats after a row over their oaths ensued after they  insulted China whilst being sworn in.  The government successfully blocked them from attempting their oaths again following a judicial review.

Apple Daily reported that – with the absence of Baggio Leung and Yau – the balance between the opposition and pro-establishment camp becomes 17 votes to 16 votes in the geographical constituencies, meaning there is a greater chance of certain legislation passing through the Legislative Council in a split voting system.

In split voting, a motion is voted on by geographical constituencies and functional constituencies separately and must pass in both groups in order to be passed by the Legislative Council.

Pro-establishment lawmaker suggests harsher penalties for disorderly conduct in LegCo