Four lawmakers removed from chamber during Legco meeting over controversial express rail bill meeting

Pro-democracy lawmaker Au Nok-hin being carried out of a legislative council committee meeting. Screengrab via Apple Daily.

There were dramatic scenes at the Legislative Council today as four lawmakers were removed — three of whom were carried out — from a committee meeting over a controversial express rail station in West Kowloon.

The committee’s chairman, Regina Ip, had to adjourn the meeting for five minutes so that security could remove pan-democratic lawmakers Au Nok-hin, Ray Chan and Jeremy Tam for misbehaving and shouting during proceedings, hk01 reports.

When the meeting resumed, a fourth lawmaker, Eddie Chu, was also carried out of the chamber after clapping his hands and chanting: “Good job chairman Ip!”

The ruckus began because lawmakers from the pro-democracy camp were protesting the decision by Ip to limit lawmakers’ speaking time to one minute.

Ip said that in order to save time, officials could take several questions at a time and provide an overall answer that covers all the questions instead of answering each lawmakers’ question individually.

The pro-democracy camp argued this was not enough time to effectively scrutinise the bill.

This soon escalated into a shouting match with the pro-democracy camp talking over officials, forcing Ip to call for Au, Chan and Tam to be escorted out of the chamber.

In a live feed of the meeting, lawmakers can be seen telling Ip “are you out of your mind?” while others are seen standing around the trio to prevent security from taking them away.

At one point during the fracas, Chan can be seen putting a chair on the table in a bid to try and block security guards.

People Power lawmaker Ray Chan tries to block security guards at LegCo by putting a chair on his desk. Screengrab via YouTube.

Eventually, Au and Chan were carried out of the chamber, while Tam was escorted out.

Lawmakers are disputing the constitutionality of a proposed checkpoint arrangement at a new train station in West Kowloon, which would allow mainland Chinese officials to carry out immigrations and customs procedures in Hong Kong.

The government announced in July that the controversial arrangement for the new train line would involve “leasing” land to the mainland and effectively giving up Hong Kong jurisdiction in a part of the west Kowloon terminus.

The Hong Kong Bar Association has criticized the proposed arrangement saying it “irreparably breached” the Basic Law — the city’s mini-constitution — and undermined the rule of law, according to the SCMP.

In March, name of the controversial train line was revealed as “Vibrant Express”.

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