Date
17 October 2017
Legislator Junius Ho could have a personal political agenda behind his verbal saber-rattling. Photo: HKEJ
Legislator Junius Ho could have a personal political agenda behind his verbal saber-rattling. Photo: HKEJ

Behind Junius Ho’s ‘patriotic’ outbursts

Pro-establishment lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu, who had set the internet alight and become an overnight sensation with his “kill without mercy” remarks against independence advocates, flexed his muscles again on social media last Saturday.

On his Facebook page, Ho remarked that the pro-establishment camp is bent on amending the Legislative Council’s Rules of Procedure to make the pan-democrats aware that there is a “sword hanging over their head” and that they would be “beheaded” if they misbehave again.

While it appears that Ho just can’t get enough of his “patriotic” outbursts, it is said that his highly belligerent remarks have not only drawn fire from the pan-democrats, who tried to move a motion to condemn him in Legco last week, but have also raised a lot of eyebrows at the Liaison Office and among leaders of moderate pro-establishment parties as well.

Despite the annoyance of Beijing and his moderate pro-establishment colleagues, it is quite clear that Ho is not going to pull his punches or tone down his rhetoric against the opposition anytime soon.

Some in the pro-establishment camp have speculated that Ho could have a personal political agenda behind his verbal saber-rattling.

Despite having garnered the support of the Liaison Office, Ho actually wouldn’t have won his seat by a razor-thin margin in last year’s Legco election had it not been for the intense infighting among pan-democratic candidates.

And Ho has obviously sensed his limitations and the urgency to build his own support base in order to secure his Legco seat, and hence his radical and even over-the-top remarks in recent months, which were apparently intended for local die-hard patriots or the so-called “blue ribbon” voters.

Beijing’s Liaison Office has tried to draw support from centrist voters by throwing its weight behind seemingly moderate and professional candidates such as lawyers in the past few Legco elections.

Nevertheless, a few in the pro-establishment camp said while Ho’s provocative rhetoric might have helped him gain favor with radical “blue ribbon” fans, it has also taken a heavy toll on the image of the entire pro-establishment camp, with moderate pro-Beijing parties such as the New People’s Party led by former security chief Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee being hard hit.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Oct. 9

Translation by Alan Lee

[Chinese version 中文版]

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JC/CG

Columnist of Hong Kong Economic Journal.

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