Just a day after Liberal Party candidate Ken Chow Wing-kan held a press conference explaining why he pulled out of the Legislative Council race, Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, a civil rights activist and lawmaker-elect, reported to the police on Thursday last week that he and his family had received death threats and sought protection.
It remains unclear as to what really happened to them before and during the election, but based on what we were already told, it appears their cases have one thing in common: the vested interests in the New Territories, or more precisely, the powerful rural clans, could have been involved.
According to Chow, a seasoned district councillor and former personal assistant to Lau Wong-fat, former chairman of the Heung Yee Kuk, or the Rural Council, he was forced by both intermediaries sent by Beijing and official bodies representing the central government in Hong Kong to drop out of the race, or else he, his family and his supporters would pay “a heavy price”.
He added that they wanted him out of the race in order to allow another candidate they favored to get elected.
Although Chow didn’t mention who that candidate was, everybody knows he was referring to Junius Ho Kwan-yiu, a lawyer who is believed to have close relations with Beijing’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong.
Based on what he claimed, it appears Beijing has interfered in our election.
If Chow’s allegations are true, the intimidation he faced obviously constitutes a serious violation of the Basic Law and the “one country, two systems” principle, and, as such, cries out for further investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
That said, we urge him to give more details to the authorities to allow them to launch investigation and follow the facts wherever they lead.
Meanwhile, Eddie Chu also claimed that he had been stalked during his campaign, and received death threats after he had been elected.
Out of safety concerns, he and his family have moved out of their home in Yuen Long.
Chu has been a well-known and high-profile activist fighting for the land rights of farmers and villagers against real estate developers in the New Territories.
It is therefore not impossible that he could have stepped on the toes of some powerful landowners, many of whom happen to be clan members.
If police find his allegations well-founded, then they should offer him and his family protection immediately and hunt down those who have threatened to harm them, in order to uphold law and order in our city and restore public confidence in our elections.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Sept. 9.
Translation by Alan Lee
[Chinese version 中文版]
– Contact us at [email protected]