Legislators on Thursday passed amendments to change rules of procedures in LegCo, including a progressive penalty system that sees rule-breaking lawmakers suspended from meetings for a week initially.

For repeated offenses, the suspension will length to two weeks and four weeks respectively.

Localist Civic Passion lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai, the only lawmaker that voted against the amendment said such a move will hollow out space for debate, undermining the parliamentary culture.

“The National People's Congress has already approved electoral changes in Hong Kong, where there will be a panel to vet candidates running for LegCo in the future. Theoretically, anyone being able to speak in the LegCo in the future should be patroits, such a move is totally unnecessary,” said Cheng.

Some pro-establishment lawmakers also voiced concerns over the harsh “punishment.”

Tourism sector lawmaker Yiu Si-wing said suspending rule-breaking lawmakers for more than a week is too harsh.

“A one-week suspension can already do the job, reminding lawmakers not to repeat their mistakes,” he said.

While lawmaker Gary Chan Hak-kan said lawmakers being suspended should not pay a fine at the same time.

However, both lawmakers still vote in favor of the amendment.