District councilor prepares for worst

Islands district councilor Wong Chun-yeung says he will resign when the government starts requiring district councilors to take oaths...

Erin Chan

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Islands district councilor Wong Chun-yeung says he will resign when the government starts requiring district councilors to take oaths.

His vow came a day after Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang Kwok-wai announced that the Public Offices (Candidacy and Taking Up Offices) Ordinance will be amended to expand the oath-taking requirement to district councilors.

The bill will be gazetted tomorrow and tabled in the Legislative Council on March 17.

At the moment, only lawmakers are required to swear allegiance to the SAR and uphold the Basic Law

Writing on his Facebook page yesterday, Wong said he would leave his post in the second quarter of this year – when the bill is expected to come into effect.

He said his resignation, apart from being a means to dodge the oath-taking, is also triggered by his disappointment over the district council’s functions.

“The district council’s consultative framework has limited its functions, and this has given me a profound sense of loss,” said Wong, who is attached to the Tung Chung South constituency.

He said it was appropriate for him to quit as he has been able to serve the community without the help of the district council in the past 18 months.

He said in comparison with the benefits brought by being a district councilor, such as a monthly salary of nearly HK$40,000, he values the battle for democracy more.

“To me, some precious and solemn slogans and principles of the battles for democracy transcend human beings’ material interests, and they are a spiritual distillation,” he said.

“This includes slogans such as ‘Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times.’ This is what I grieve for.”

Wong added that he did not want the “superficial” district council seat to tie him down in the future.

He said his resignation is not the absolute truth or correctness, and appealed to Hongkongers not to criticize district councilors who choose to stay behind.

“In contrast, Hongkongers should support their district councilors’ decision, cheering them so they can weather the darkest hour before the dawn,” he said.

Wong expressed gratitude to Tung Chung residents who cast their votes for him in the 2019 election, allowing him to execute his duties in the district council.

“I will keep serving Tung Chung [after resigning from the position of district councilor], focusing on the district’s community issues. I will not give up on my political career,” he said.

He also slammed the government for allowing district officers to leave the council’s meetings early when they disagreed with the meeting agenda.

“This is to create conflicts, causing district councilors to suffer from the anger of citizens” – when citizens’ appeals cannot be delivered to the district officers who leave the district council’s meetings early, he said.