Censure Emily Lau for Taiwan Remarks

Article 79 of the Basic Law stipulates: "The President of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall declare that a member of the Council is no longer qualified for the office under any of the following circumstances: ... (7) When he or she is censured for misbehaviour or a breach of oath by a vote of two-thirds of the members of the Legislative Council present."

In a Taiwan seminar, organized not long ago by the Taiwan Advocates, legislator Emily Lau Wai-hing not only launched a scathing attack on the "One Country, Two Systems" principle, but did her best to smear Hong Kong. And after returning to the SAR, she insisted in a radio programme that "Taiwan people's future should be determined by Taiwan people themselves" and that she was "anything but regretful". In this connection, people cannot help asking Lau whether her words and stance were commensurate with her status as a legislative councillor.

As we all know, members of the Legislative Council must be accountable to Hong Kong people and voters and be responsible for the oath they take when assuming office, in which they pledge to uphold the Basic Law and be loyal to the Hong Kong SAR. They therefore must ascertain that their words and deeds tally with the requirements of the Basic Law and are in line with its spirit. The "One Country, Two Systems" principle is the essence of the Basic Law and its core content. If a legislator has vowed in public to uphold the Basic Law on the one hand, but opposes the implementation of "One Country, Two Systems", advocates self-determination on Taiwan's future by Taiwan people and refuses to explicitly admit that Taiwan is part of China on the other, are her actions in accord with her capacity as a legislative councillor?

I think LegCo should censure Lau over this issue. The matter must be handled seriously so as to clarify the facts and treat it as a lesson.

Chan Kam-lam is a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and of the Hong Kong Legislative Council.

(The article is reproduced from Wen Wei Po)

(China Daily HK Edition September 5, 2003)