|Alan Leong doing a radio programme in his Chambers office
The curtain for DC election has been drawn with the Civic Party (CP) losing 4 seats, leaving 7 seats. Party leader Alan Leong explained the ‘smear tactics’ and the overwhelming power of the Central Liaison Office in planting votes and unleashing the mechanism’s mobilisation have caused this election failure.Further, if district works remains to be snake banquet, it would prove wholly impossible for a CP district councillor (DC) in another profession (lawyers, engineers) to stay in the district for up to 10 hours a day.
Alan Leong has been my mentor and inspirator. In 2011 March 1, it has been an awakening when he told me ‘ Rule of law is the hallmark of Hong Kong. Without it, Hong Kong is no different than one of the many Chinese cities’. His charisma as guardian of the rule of law has caught me but his explanation to the failure of election caused me unease.
The CP and news media widely attributed the low – voting rate to the party’s support to the two controversial legal issues in the right of abode for foreign helpers and environmental permits for the Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macao bridge (HKZM bridge). But really?
Professor Choy Chi – keung (蔡子強) has rightly pointed out these merely act as excuses for the fact that the CP has never been keen in working at the constituent district. It is also at odds when Alan Leong confessed the impossibility for a CP DC to stay a long time in the district when this is what DC exactly does – to serve the people in the district as a full profession, not a part – time job. (Professor Choy has written a number of articles on this, the most recent is here
)It is the sad political reality that people do not realize rules in laws. First a barrister has no choice but to represent a client for a field he is competent at. This is the cab – rank – rule
to ensure fairness, so even a powerless person can get a lawyer. So CP did not
tell Philip Dykes SC to represent Chu Yee – wah in the HKZM bridge. Legal duty obliges Dykes to represent her for the sake of the rule of law, so even the powerless minority can get a lawyer.
Also the Court decides whether to accept a judicial review, not the CP, as Ronny Tong explained in our lecture. The Court accepts the review only when the matters concern the public. Denouncing judicial review is equivalent to denouncing fairness of the Court.
Secondly even CP member Gladys Li represents Vallejos, so? Barrister acts independently. No one can force a barrister to do something unwilling.
Sadly people don’t take time to understand all that. Or rather, they don’t need to. Dislike is dislike. They’ll show it in the votes. (Shih Wing Ching 施永青 here has said exactly what people erroneously think). Perhaps Chip Tsao (陶傑) is right; rule of law? Nothing. People just dislike Filipinos. (article here)
CP must either explains the laws to the people or to bend to the reality. For the former, the CP has not done much, except one or two appearance in news. For the latter, Alan Leong has partially done so when he made a partial retreat in clarifying the CP’s position of not supporting the coming of Filipinos into Hong Kong.
I fully support Alan Leong to fight for the rule of law in Hong Kong. But I am deeply disappointed how he has led the party.
It is time when Alan Leong and CP must drop down the overt elitism and work more in the district. It is time for CP to help people unlearning the unenlightened (DAB’s) welfarism and to help them learning what rule of law is.