24 October 2016
Hundreds of people staged a rally on Sunday to express solidarity with Eddie Chu (middle, with hand raised) and take a stand against political violence. Photo: HKEJ
Hundreds of people staged a rally on Sunday to express solidarity with Eddie Chu (middle, with hand raised) and take a stand against political violence. Photo: HKEJ

Eddie Chu takes up Wang Chau project, other issues with CY Leung

Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, the newly-elected lawmaker who is under police protection in the wake of death threats following the Legco election, said on Sunday that he has asked Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to look into some matters related to land development and housing in the New Territories.

Speaking to supporters after a rally outside the police headquarters in Wan Chai, Chu said he raised three issues with Leung during a phone conversation on Saturday.

The first was regarding a land re-development project in Wang Chau in Yuen Long, where authorities dramatically scaled back plans to build public housing, he said.

The government should offer an explanation as to why the project launched in 2012 ended up building only 4,000 public homes instead of the originally proposed 17,000 units, Chu said.

The comments came as there had been suspicions that the project was modified due to interference of rural landlords and other vested interests. 

Second, Chu asked Leung to unveil a 2012-13 report by the Housing Department on the Wang Chau development and the reason for the cutback on pubic housing units.

Lastly, the new lawmaker asked Leung whether his administration would support a bill in the Legco that seeks to make the Heung Yee Kuk, or rural council, more transparent in its decision-making, on things such as appointment of key officials.

In the call that lasted about seven minutes, Leung is said to have promised Chu that the issues raised by him will be followed up by the Development Bureau as well as the Home Affairs Bureau.

Chu has made a name for himself over the years as he has been fighting for the rights and interests of rural folk in New Territories, taking on powerful vested interests.

The social and environmental activism helped him win more than 84,000 votes — the most by any candidate — in the Legco contest on Sept. 4.

After Chu’s record victory from a seat in New Territories West, he alleged that there have been death threats against him and his family, forcing him to seek police protection.

Hundreds of people staged a rally on Sunday to express solidarity with Chu and take a stand against political violence, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

Addressing the crowd, Chu revealed that Leung had called him Saturday night to express sympathy. The new lawmaker said he used the opportunity to raise some issues with Hong Kong’s top leader.  

It is expected that Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po will meet with Chu and Edward Yiu Chung-yim, another newly-elected lawmaker, sometime this week to talk about the Wang Chau project.

Edward Yiu, who is the associate director of the Institute of Future Cities at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, won a seat from the architecture functional constituency.

As for the chronic issue of alleged collusion between government, rural forces and triads over land rights in New Territories, Chu said he raised the matter with Leung but received no clear response.

While Chu claimed that Leung’s attitude during the phone call was better than he expected, he was still critical of the chief executive and echoed calls by others at the rally that Leung must step down.

In other comments, Chu said he has become tired of moving from one place to another amid the security arrangements by the police.

Rather than switch houses constantly, he is thinking that it may be better if he and his family is offered refuge with the Legislative Council complex, Chu said.

Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok met with Chu and his family last Friday and promised thorough investigations into the alleged threats received by the new lawmaker.

Following the meeting, police officers are reported to have conducted over the weekend a large-scale operation against gangsters and criminal elements in Yuen Long district.

[Chinese version 中文版]

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