With the district council election campaign at its final stretch, it is not surprising that candidates would want to boost their prospects through media coverage of their activities.
Getting themselves filmed by TV news crews is seen as an especially effective way to draw attention and score over rivals.
Thus, we see candidates go into overdrive whenever they see a camera.
If a local news bulletin airs footage of a person surrounded by members of the public and having cordial interaction, the campaign team touts it as a reflection of the candidate’s popularity.
Now, this hunger for publicity is said to have prompted a contender to go to extreme lengths.
On Tuesday, TVB News aired footage on Chu Ching-hong, who is standing for re-election from the Chi Fu constituency.
The video shows Chu, who is currently chairman of the Southern District Council, surrounded by people and shaking hands as he sought their votes.
One man was heard saying: “Of course I will vote for you as you have served as a council member for so many years, as well as done many things for the neighborhood.”
Chu was later seen shaking hands with a woman.
According to Apple Daily, the woman was actually Tam Mei Po, Chu’s election agent, while the man who made the positive comments earlier was a member of a team set up to help Chu get reelected.
The incident suggests that many of the so-called supporters were in fact members of Chu’s own electioneering team.
Questioned by a reporter later, Chu admitted that some supporters seen on TV were from his electioneering team.
He denied accusations that he deliberately tried to mislead TV viewers.
If TVB had contacted him before airing the footage, he would have clarified the matter, he said.
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