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Hong Kong: Election Consultation Deferred… It's Dog-Speak!

In the Legislative Council question-and-answer session yesterday, chief executive Donald Tsang said the public consultation on the electoral arrangements in 2012 would be deferred until the fourth quarter to focus on tackling economic and livelihood concerns.

Election consultation deferred

As initially the consultation should take place in the first season of 2009, legislator Ronny TONG Ka-wah criticized Donald Tsang's arrangement for deferring the whole democratization process in Hong Kong. Donald Tsang answered (according to a local newspapers and plastichk's blogpost):

「首先呢我地… 我唔想同佢狗噏辯論,頭先湯議員所講o既,佢所講o既唔係我應承o既…」

Well, we… I don't want to enter into “dog-speak” kind of debate, what has been raised by Legislator Ronny Tong, I never promise that…

Dog-speak turning into fight-speech

“Dog-speak”(狗噏) in Cantonese is a polite way of saying “dick-speak” (鳩噏). Many people watching the live report could not believe what they heard and doubted whether it actually happened. Later, in the government's transcript of the legco session, the term “dog-speak” was changed into “fight-speech”. Whether the pronunciation is “dog” or “fight” becomes a hot debate in many internet forums.

Thanks to new media technology, netizens quickly put up video clip to prove Donald Tsang's “dog-speak”, this one is uploaded by aimak:

It is of course scandalous for the government to change “dog-speak” into “fight-speech” in the official transcript, as the former shows great disrespect for Legislator Ronny Tong, while the latter implies that Ronny Tong's question is too aggressive for constructive discussion. More scandalous is the fact that Donald Tsang openly criticized the Legislators from the League of Social Democrats for using violent vulgar languages and being disrespectful (as they kept using the term “bananas” to refer to his policy), on the other hand, he used similar, if not more, vulgar language to address other legislators.

Paulymh from inmediahk criticized the double standard of mainstream media, as the “dog-speak” episode was picked up by two local newspapers, while others focused on Donald Tsang's criticism of the LSD legislators’ non-cooperative and rude performance at the Legislative council.

Basic Law article 79 for sweeping away LSD's bananas

Legal expert blogger, Wong Onyin, observing the government's tactic, points out that the pro-establishment is about to apply Basic law article 79 paragraph 7 on LSD legislators:

基本法這一段說,立法會議員行為不檢而經立法會的議員三分之二通過譴責,立法會主席宣告其喪失立法會議員的資格。基本法本身沒有訂下啟動這一條的過程,但與政府行之有效的紀律程序一樣,對不當(Misconduct)的行為再三警告無效,是慣用的手法。

The basic law said, if any legislator has misconduct behavior and 2/3 legislative council members passed the motion to condemn such behavior, the Chair can announce that the legislator lose the qualification. There is no specification of how the process can be started, but according to the existing practice, if the person received three warnings, the motion can be initiated.

上次掟蕉,今次使用粗鄙及侮辱性語言,事後政務司司長都正式具文送交立法會主席抗議。當然兩次抗議,曾鈺成只能自辯為處理適當,但紀錄上政府已經兩次抗議,所謂事不過三,再來一次之時,政府大條道理要求曾主席按條例所訂,接受民建聯議員正式動議,要求通過譴責黃毓民。

Chief Secretary for Administration have already issued two statements to the Legco Chair to protest against the banana throw in Oct 2008 and the vulgar language this time. The two official protests are in record, and with one more protest, the government can ask the Chair to accept the motion raised by DAB legislators, condemn LSD legislator Wong Yuk Man.

If constructive questions like the election consultation became “dog-speak” in the eye of top ruling elites (in the form of Freudian slip), what's the function of the Legislative council? Although LSD's legislators’ dog's fight performance is disruptive, can the discussion in Legislative Council be genuinely constructive with the un-democratic system?

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