HK lawmaker condemns UK parliamentary group's invitation withdrawal decision
A Hong Kong legislator condemned the latest decision of the UK parliamentary group to withdraw an invitation to the Legislative Council for attending an upcoming seminar in March, calling that childish and hypocritical.
According to a statement issued by the UK branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), the group unanimously agreed to withdraw the invitation to Hong Kong lawmakers to attend the 2023 Westminster Seminar on Effective Parliament, citing the "deteriorating situation" in Hong Kong.
The CPA statement also cited a serious erosion of political plurality and participation in Hong Kong.
The Westminster Seminar on Effective Parliaments is an opportunity to promote parliamentary democracy, and for delegates to learn more about the role of parliamentarians and parliamentary officials or clerks, as well as share knowledge and good practice with other legislatures.
Dominic Lee Tsz-king and Carmen Kan Wai-mun were among those who planned to attend the event that will take place from March 13 to 17 in London.
"We condemn the decision made by the organizing body. It is a political manipulation and an assault on our enhanced system," Lee told the Global Times. "In my view, the decision by the UK is childish."
"Since this seminar was meant to be a platform to exchange different information about how parliaments or legislative bodies work in different jurisdiction, if you think that the system in Hong Kong is not what you have in mind, why don't you take this opportunity to understand and learn the ins and outs of our new system?" Lee added.
"The UK government has always stressed the importance of listening to the people of Hong Kong. Being a democratically elected representative, even if I cannot represent all Hong Kong residents, I can at least represent a good amount of them," he said.
Lee pointed out that the UK will suffer the most significant loss by withdrawing the invitation as it will lose an opportunity to understand Hong Kong's legislature further while such political manipulation won't damage the spirit of local lawmakers.