Pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu, who had faced severe criticism over his remarks and conduct in recent months as he advocated a zero-tolerance approach toward anti-government protesters, suffered a humiliating defeat in the district council (DC) election, joining the list of big-name establishment candidates who bit the dust in the Sunday contest.
Ho had sought re-election in the Lok Tsui constituency in Tuen Mun, where he unseated former Democratic Party lawmaker Albert Ho Chun-yan in the previous DC election in 2015.
His opponents included Cary Lo Chun-yu from the Democratic Party and independent candidate Chiang Ching-man.
Shortly before 1:30 am on Monday, Ho conceded his defeat through a post on social media, offering a particularly sweet victory for the opposition camp.
Ho had become an object of hate for many young voters in the wake of a shocking incident four months ago when suspected gangsters attacked pro-democracy protesters at a local train station.
The lawmaker was caught on video laughing and shaking hands with suspected criminal thugs who assaulted protesters, commuters and passers-by at Yuen Long MTR Station on the night of July 21.
Suspicions that he had endorsed the violent attacks against anti-government protesters apparently prompted voters to reject Ho.
After the election result, Ho admitted that the accusations had no doubt affected his campaign.
While calling the July 21 incident regretful, the lawmaker said what should be more worrisome for society is the repeated acts of vandalism and damage perpetrated by protesters in the past few months.
Meanwhile, responding to snarky messages of “massive congratulations”, Ho said it wouldn’t be a bad thing if his electoral setback can help quell the violence of anti-government protesters.
The Democratic Party’s Cary Lo triumphed over Ho in Tuen Mun, winning acclaim as a giant-slayer.
During the polling hours on Sunday, Ho, who was seen with several bodyguards amid heightened security following an attack earlier this month — on Nov. 6, the controversial lawmaker was attacked by a knife-wielding man during an election campaign event — quite a number of citizens mentioned to him the July 21 Yuen Long attack, and indicated that they were unhappy with Ho’s alleged connection to the incident.
In related news, Ho came face-to-face on Sunday with Luke de Pulford, a member of the United Kingdom Conservative Party’s Human Rights Commission, who was in Hong Kong at the invitation of local community groups to act as an international observer for the DC election.
When running into Ho in Tuen Mun, De Pulford told the lawmaker in his face that he was one of those who had persuaded Anglia Ruskin University, where Ho obtained a bachelor’s degree in law in 1984 when it was known as Chelmer Institute of Higher Education and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws in 2011 for his legal work and efforts as an ambassador for his alma mater, to revoke an honorary degree.
In a video clip, Ho can be heard replying: “OK, good luck to you then,” RTHK reported.
Among other pro-establishment biggies who lost in Sunday’s election, Alice Mak Mei-kuen of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions failed in her bid to get re-elected in the Wai Ying constituency of Kwai Tsing District.
Mak was defeated by Sin Ho-fai, an executive committee member of the Civic Party.
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