About-face for flagman Cheng

Local | Maisy Mok 29 Jul 2020

In an apparent attempt to pass the nomination threshold, Civic Passion's Cheng Chung-tai apologized for inverting national flags inside the Legislative Council chamber four years ago in his reply to a returning officer.

Cheng, who is seeking re-election in the New Territories West geographical constituency, told the officer yesterday that he realized his action was a mistake after a court trial.

Cheng flipped national and regional flag replicas in the legislative assembly on October 19, 2016, for which he was found guilty of two counts of desecrating the national and regional flags and fined HK$5,000 in September 2017.

The officer sent a letter to Cheng on Monday asking whether he agrees that his insults over the flags did not meet his declaration to uphold the Basic Law and swear allegiance to the local government.

Cheng responded that he will correct his behavior and publicly declare to protect the national and regional flags when re-elected.

"Throughout my service in the Legislative Council, I have shown I uphold the Basic Law and my loyalty to the HKSAR government, and protect the national and regional flags," Cheng wrote.

The Civic Party's Jeremy Tam Man-ho and Gordon Lam Sui-wa replied that they have no intention of seeking US sanctions against Hong Kong after it was brought to their returning officers' attention that the party's members, including Tam, had an "exchange with US congressmen" in August.

Tam will be running in the Kowloon East geographical constituency and Lam is running in the catering functional constituency.

Both replied that they had no intention of asking foreign countries to promote a law similar to the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, enacted by US in November.

The Civic Party said in March and June that it would veto the budget if the government refused to comply with the "five demands" arising from the anti-government movement. The returning officer asked how this would match their promises to uphold the Basic Law.

"This is a political question, I do not think this question is relevant to the returning officer's decision making and responsibility," Tam and Lam replied.

People Power chairman Raymond Chan Chi-chuen, who will be standing in NT East, replied to his returning officer yesterday by saying he had never said he would veto all government proposals.

"If the government is willing to enact a bill to implement full universal suffrage, a universal retirement protection ordinance, sexual orientation, and gender identity discrimination ordinance, etc, I will definitely show my support," Chan wrote.



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