We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

PA Images

Unrest returns to Hong Kong as politicians battle for key committee position

Hong Kong reopened in recent days after riding out the Covid-19 health emergency.

SCUFFLES BROKE out at Hong Kong’s Legislative Council today as members of opposing camps competed to preside over a meeting to determine who has authority over a key committee which scrutinises bills.

Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing and pro-democracy politicians have been caught in an impasse over the delayed election of a chairman of the Legislative Council’s House Committee, which reads bills and determines when they can be put to a final vote.

Pro-Beijing members have accused House Committee deputy chairman and pro-democracy member Dennis Kwok of stalling the process for over six months, resulting in a backlog of legislation including a controversial new bill that would criminalise abuse of the Chinese national anthem in the semi-autonomous city.

On Friday, pro-Beijing member Starry Lee, who said she has authority as previous chair of the House Committee to preside over the meeting, rushed to take the chairman’s seat more than an hour before the meeting was to start.

Security staff and other pro-Beijing lawmakers surrounded the bench, preventing pro-democracy members from approaching as arguments broke out, with each camp holding up placards condemning either Lee or Kwok.

Scuffles also broke out when Lee called the meeting to order, with pro-democracy lawmakers rushing the bench as security guards shoved back.

The guards carried out several pro-democracy members, including Eddie Chu and Ray Chan, who were ordered to leave due to disorderly conduct.

“I have not seized power, I am the incumbent chairperson of the house committee,” said Lee, who said she hoped the meeting could be conducted smoothly and urged lawmakers to take their seats.

Pro-democracy lawmakers chanted “Starry Lee, step down,” while pro-Beijing lawmakers countered with shouts that Kwok was abusing his power.

Most of the pro-democracy lawmakers later walked out of the meeting.

The session was later briefly suspended after pro-democracy politician Kwok Wing-kin, who was watching from the viewing chamber, was dragged away by security after throwing a stack of papers down into the meeting room.

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel