Hong Kong, June 4 (IANS) Hong Kong lawmakers debate on the national anthem bill was once again suspended on Thursday after an opposition legislator emptied a bottle of foul-smelling liquid in the Legislative Council chamber.
A vote on the controversial law, which will outlaw insulting the Chinese national anthem, “March of the Volunteers”, was expected on Thursday evening, reports the South China Morning Post newspaper.
Under the bill, anyone found guilty of misusing or insulting the national anthem could be fined up to HK$50,000 ($6,450) and jailed for three years.
At about 1 p.m., pan-democrats Eddie Chu and Raymond Chan rushed out from their seats, and the former emptied the bottle of brown-coloured liquid.
House Committee chairwoman Starry Lee, who was presiding over the meeting, ordered the two men to leave the chamber, and they were forcibly removed by security guards.
Addressing the media outside the chamber, Chu said the substance used was a bio-fertiliser.
He said it was similar to what Democratic Party’s Ted Hui dropped in the chamber last week, even though the lawmaker said the substance was a container of rotten plants.
Chu said his action was to protest against the national anthem bill, as well as to remember the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989.
Before the meeting was suspended, pro-establishment lawmakers voted down 21 amendments put forward by the opposition to reduce or eliminate the criminal liability of offenders.