Govt not getting rid of different voices: Paul Tse

Independent lawmaker Paul Tse has dismissed suggestions that the disqualification of Cheng Chung-tai as a legislator demonstrates how the government is trying to eliminate opposition voices.

“Cheung Chung-tai only represents one colour, and maybe he changes his colour when he’s in different environments. But his disqualification doesn’t mean different colours are not allowed… people of different colour on the political spectrum are still allowed to serve Hong Kong people,” said Tse.

Cheng, from the Civic Passion, was on Thursday stripped of his seat in the legislature after national security officials decided he isn’t fit to be on the Election Committee (EC) because he isn’t loyal to the SAR.

Speaking on an RTHK programme on Friday, Tse said the decision showed the vetting mechanism is working.

“We can put it this way – the decision proves the mechanism is working effectively. It’s not toothless and not everyone would be allowed through,” he said.

The government did not make public the reasons behind the disqualification, and Tse said it’s understandable given the “sensitive” nature.

“The law itself has a so-called negative list that gives details of what behavior would be looked at. And, since it involves rather sensitive matters, it’s not like a court case where there’s a plaintiff and a respondent and there are reasons for a ruling,” said Tse.

“So I think as long as the mechanism is clearly defined, and things are done in accordance with the procedure, after balancing different aspects, it’s a suitable mechanism,” he said.