Date
18 December 2017
Poon Hong-yan (inset, lower), elder son of Undersecretary for Education Christine Choi (inset, upper left) jumped to his death in Sorrento, according to the police. Photo: HKEJ/Screen shot of i-Cable News/Poon Hong-yan's Facebook
Poon Hong-yan (inset, lower), elder son of Undersecretary for Education Christine Choi (inset, upper left) jumped to his death in Sorrento, according to the police. Photo: HKEJ/Screen shot of i-Cable News/Poon Hong-yan's Facebook

Son of deputy education chief jumps to death

A 25-year-old man jumped to his death on Thursday morning from a luxury high-rise building near the Kowloon MTR station.

Police identified the man as Poon Hong-yan, a son of Undersecretary for Education Christine Choi Yuk-lin, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports. They found nothing suspicious and said it was a suicide.

After receiving a report at about 11:50 a.m., police arrived at Sorrento, a private housing estate in Austin Road West, and found a man lying unconscious on a ninth-floor podium.

He was rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Choi arrived in the hospital at around 3 p.m.

Choi released a statement through the Education Bureau expressing her gratitude for the concern shown to her family and asking the public to give them space while they grieve.

Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung expressed his condolences to Choi and her family.

Investigators said the man was the older of Choi’s two sons. He jumped from the family’s apartment on the 41st floor of tower three of the estate.

Poon was a physiotherapist at North District Hospital in Sheung Shui. He graduated from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Police said he was earlier stopped by the family’s domestic helper from his suicide attempt before he locked himself up in his bedroom and jumped out the window about an hour later. He did not leave a note.

Poon had been keen about sports like marathon and cycling. Choi once enrolled in a 10-kilometer run for charity that Poon also participated in. Poon, however, was forced to stop running after suffering from brain injuries in an accident during a triathlon last year.

His social media posts showed he was recovering well. In fact, he was stricken with depression after the accident, according to one of Choi’s friends.

Poon’s death was unrelated to Choi’s government job and her controversial pro-Beijing stance, the friend said.

Choi was appointed on Aug. 1 by Chief Executive Carrie Lam, sparking accusations that Lam was trying to push national education in the school curriculum.

Choi is a former vice chair of the pro-Beijing Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers, which published teaching materials on national education that led to mass protests in 2012.

Not long after news about her son’s death broke out, an offensive post was seen on the “democracy wall” of the Education University of Hong Kong.

The school condemned the post and vowed to find who was responsible.

- Contact us at [email protected]

EJ Insight supports efforts to help people deal with depression and related issues. Here is the 24-hour multilingual suicide prevention hotline of The Samaritans: +852 2896 0000 (or email [email protected]).

TL/JC/RA

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe