Chan Yuen-han admits to pressure tactics in Siu Yau-wai case

May 26, 2015 12:41
Chan Yuen-han (R) says she has no regrets about highlighting the case of Siu Yau-wai (L) and helping the undocumented mainland boy gain temporary residence permit. Photos: HKEJ, Metro Daily

Lawmaker and trade unionist Chan Yuen-han admitted Monday that she had sought to put pressure on the Immigration Department for a favorable resolution of the case related to Siu Yau-wai, an undocumented 12-year-old from the mainland.

Chan, who brought Siu's case before the media and helped pave way for issuance of a temporary residence permit, said she has no regrets about her actions even though she may have crossed a line, am730 reported.

The comments came after the lawmaker was criticized by some citizens for helping an documented mainlander to continue staying in the city.

Critics said the Siu incident could set a bad precedent in dealing with other such cases in the future.

Chan held a press conference last week to highlight Siu's case, arguing that the young boy -- who was brought into Hong Kong when he was three years old --should be allowed to reside in the city.

Following the news conference, Siu was issued a temporary residence permit by the Immigration Department. The boy was also taken to a primary school the same day for an assessment on his schooling abilities.

Chan admitted Monday that she was trying to exert pressure on the Immigration Department by taking a high-profile approach.

Initially, she had thought of handling the matter in a different way, which would have seen Siu and his grandmother wearing face masks when they were brought before the media.

But in the end, Chan decided that she should present Siu before the public so that they can realize how the boy had integrated into the local community despite living as an undocumented alien for nine years.

Chan said she was aware that her actions would come in for criticism from some groups, but said she has a clear conscience.

"I respect other people’s opinions but I never expected that they would surround the school which provided assessment service to Siu. Their protest scared the other children at school,” Chan added.

She was referring to incidents Saturday when activists belonging to some radical groups surrounded the offices of Chan and the school on Saturday, complaining about local resources being used to help non-Hongkongers and calling for the boy to be sent back to the mainland.

Chan acknowledged that the chances of Siu getting the right of abode are slim. Still, she called on authorities to consider carefully the boy's case.

Siu and his grandmother have moved out of their home at Shun Lee Tsuen in Kwun Tong, urging the public to allow them some space, Chan said.

Meanwhile, local groups HK Indigenous and Youngspiration staged protests at the Immigration Department offices in Wan Chai on Monday, demanding the deportation of Siu.

A few protesters also answered online calls to go to Shun Lee Estate where Siu and his grandmother lived until recently. They left the area after chanting slogans for a while. 

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