Holden Chow Ho-ding has hit out at rival Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu for encouraging Hongkongers to “go into battle”, a slogan Yeung used in his campaign for the Legislative Council by-election in New Territories East.
Chow, vice-chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, is being seen as playing the “Mong Kok card”, capitalizing on the violent clashes there on the night of Feb. 8, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday.
He recently uploaded a video clip of himself visiting a family who were watching a news report of the conflict between protesters and police.
It showed the children of the family imitating the actions of the protesters by throwing their toys around and crashing a fence with a toy car.
The video showed Chow explaining to the children that it is wrong to stir up conflict.
The message was clearly intended as an attack on the campaign slogan of Yeung, a member of the Civic Party.
However, Yeung changed his slogan after the Mong Kok clashes to focus on accountability during unstable times.
At a televised debate hosted by Now TV on Monday, Chow attacked Yeung, a barrister, for providing legal assistance to protesters who were arrested during the Mong Kok clashes.
Yeung hit back at Chow for his blatant lack of respect for the rule of law, under which people are innocent until proven guilty, especially since Chow himself is a solicitor.
He said he would also offer legal assistance to Chow if he were to be arrested one day.
Yeung upped the ante by asking Chow if he would be sympathetic toward those taking part in the Mong Kok clashes the same way he has said he felt about the 1967 rioters in Hong Kong.
Chow said he was not born when the 1967 riots took place and asked Yeung not to divert attention from the topic.
During the debate, candidate Nelson Wong Sing-chi, deputy convener of the centrist Third Side party, questioned fellow candidate Edward Leung Tin-kei, spokesman for radical localist party Hong Kong Indigenous, about his advocacy of violence.
Leung — who is on bail after having been charged with participating in a riot in connection with the Mong Kok clashes — said Wong’s “middle way” has never yielded any success and nothing tangible has come out of the attempts to communicate with the central government in the past three decades.
In his closing speech, Wong pleaded with voters not to support Yeung, as it would mean bringing violence and filibustering into the legislature.
However, Wong said, they do not have to vote for Chow or himself if they are reluctant to do so.
“If you do not wish to vote for me, I would hope that you vote for candidate Christine Fong Kwok-shan,” Wong said.
Fong is a longtime district councilor in Sai Kung.
Barrister Albert Leung Sze-ho and businessman Lau Chi-sing are the two other candidates in the Legco by-election.
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