The High Court of Hong Kong disqualified four legislative council (LegCo) members on Friday, 14th July, 2017, by ruling in favour of the HKsar regime’s court case against the four’s legitimacy of their oath. This came as a result of the constitutional crisis raised by Baggio Leung and Yau Wai Ching from Youngspiration during the swearing in of elected LegCo members, whereby china illegally interfered by pro-actively interpreting Hong Kong’s Basic Law, which proclaimed that anyone during their swearing in did not recite their oath with ‘utmost solemness and seriousness’ should be disqualified as members of the Legislative Council. As such, the High Court have ruled that former Legislative Council members Leung Kwok Hung, Lau Siu Lai, Nathan Law and Edward Yiu were also guilty of violating this illegal interpretation of the Basic Law, and thus they were to be disqualified as LegCo members effective immediately.
This collapse of the balance of power in Hong Kong politics have in effect nailed the coffin for not only Hong Kong’s legislative independence from the executive arm of government and china, but had also done away with the illusion of judicial independence. Consequently, Pan-Democrats’ James Hon, former LegCo member Wong Yukman and incumbent LegoCo member Cheng Chung Tai from Civic Passions have independently suggested that the whole democratic camp quit the Legislative Council immediately. The common idea is that this motion by china have effectively made LegCo a farce, designed to give a false sense of legitimacy to the legislature when in essence it is now china that has every say in who is allowed in LegCo instead of an elected institution, thus the only response available to the pro-democratic camp is to withdraw from LegCo forthwith.
Metaphorically, I cannot help but be reminded of an event in the Star Wars Extended Universe continuity, when Palpatine finally purged the Galaxy of the Jedi, destroyed the Galactic Republic from within, and usurped absolute power for himself. At first, he allowed the Galactic Senate – once the Galaxy’s elected forum of planetary representatives – to continue to exist as the Imperial Senate, a facade which generated the illusion that everyone in the Galaxy are still able to have a say; but when Princess Leia stole the Death Star plans, Palpatine took the opportunity to abolish even the Imperial Senate, taking all decision and policy making for himself and his advisors. Without the Imperial Senate, Palpatine was also free to exercise total control through his stormtroopers and his network of Grand Moffs, and rule with an iron fist.
However, unlike the former Republic senators in the galaxy far, far away, who organised themselves into the Rebel Alliance to fight the Galactic Empire in all sense of the word, Hong Kong’s pan-democrats would rather beg on their knees to continue holding to their seats in LegCo. Democratic Party’s Andrew Wan even posted on his Facebook that anyone who suggests a complete withdrawal from LegCo is a double agent on the payroll of the chinese communist party. The pan-democrats are still holding on to the ludicrous idea that they still have a fighting chance inside the compromised legislature, continuing to reaffirm the false impression that they are the only ones that can stand against the chinese onslaught, when in reality these pan-democrats have more than once betrayed Hong Kongers by voting in favour of the HKsar regime’s policies.
The reason the pan-democrats are still clinging onto this sinking ship is their delusion that china can be reasoned with, if only they show enough good faith and good will by making compromises. However, with the death of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who had committed no wrong except participating in the drafting of the Charter 08, which called for a socio-political reform to fully realise the Chinese Constitution; being denied medical treatment overseas prior to his death; and refused a proper, traditional mourning period and burial after his passing by having his remains cremated almost immediately and the ashes scattered onto the sea, it is plain for all to see that there is no other way to deal with china but taking the bull by the horns and wrestle it down.
It is time to burn our ships as Hernán Cortés had before he set forth to conquer the Aztecs, or when Xiang Yu destroyed his ships after crossing the river to attack the Qin army. Time for timidity and talks are over, we have to cross the Rubicon.