Liberal Party candidate Chow Wing-kan’s shocking announcement that he would withdraw from the Legislative Council (LegCo) election has been found to be linked to another candidate in the New Territories West Constituency, Ho Kwan-yiu, who enjoys full support from the Liaison Office.
In a taped conversation Chow released to the media, a male voice says that he will mobilize a group of 20 to 30 people to pressure him. Ho has admitted that the voice came from one of his campaign volunteers, Wong Sze-chuen. Wong is currently the honorary president of the Hong Kong Food and Beverage Alliance and the chairman of the New Territories Estate Agency Association. He was strongly against the democratic Occupy Movement and took part in many activities organised by the anti-Occupy “blue ribbon camp” during that period.
In a press conference last Friday, Ho said, “Every one of those [volunteers] who offers me help is an angel.”
However, it has been found that Yang Jiang, president of the Youth Care Association (YCA), was present at the conference to provide him with protection and support. The YCA is the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) arm in Hong Kong responsible for carrying out special missions.
Yang is the chairman of the Tuen Mun Chamber of Commerce and has recently pledged his support for Ho on Facebook.
In last year’s District Election, Ho also managed to secure support from mainland Chinese groups. He told the media that the volunteers were introduced to him by the Guangxi Federation of Social Organizations, which he used to serve.
Ho is regarded as a supporter of Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and was appointed to the council of Lingnan University by Leung amid strong opposition from the students.
The YCA was established after Leung became Chief Executive. It operates under the influence of the CCP’s Government and Legal Committee’s “610 Office,” an extralegal organization created in 1999 for the purpose of persecuting the spiritual discipline Falun Gong.
Since the YCA’s inception in June 2012, it has continually interfered with Falun Gong practitioners’ information booths and other activities, sometimes even using violence. In one incident, practitioners and reporters were threatened by knives.
Yang has always appeared as the central command in such activities, including disturbing the peaceful demonstration of Falun Gong practitioners at an international conference recently held in Hong Kong by the Transplantation Society.
LegCo candidates threatened by triads
In order to manipulate the results of the LegCo election, Leung introduced measures such as asking aspirants to sign an additional statement to pledge allegiance to three of the clauses in the Basic Law, as well as stirring up social sentiment for the support of the pro-Hong Kong independence movement.
However, these moves failed to gain recognition from the pro-establishment camp. Leung therefore resorted to more drastic means.
Last Tuesday, Fu Chun-chung, founder of the Defend Hong Kong Movement, and DAB District Councilor Chan Wan-sang organized a “Catch the Devil in Hong Kong Alliance” to attack Democratic Party candidate Lam Cheuk-ting at the party’s headquarters on Prince Road.
They hoisted banners with insulting remarks, shouted abuse, and tried to push their way through. The tactics they employed are no different from those of the YCA. The police had to be called in to get the situation under control.
Events similar to the above have become commonplace in Hong Kong in the past few years. These activities are mainly supported by triad members in the New Territories.
At the height of the democratic Umbrella Movement in 2014, suspected triad members tried to clear the occupied area in Mongkok using violence. In 2013, when Leung attended a conference in Tin Shui Wai, a large group of youngsters with dyed hair and tattoos used violence against the peaceful anti-Leung protesters under the command of Tsang Shu-wo, chairman of the Ping Shan Village Committee, in front of the police.
On Feb 10, 2012, core members of Leung’s campaign team met with triad leader Kwok Wing-hung in a restaurant in an attempt to garner support from the elders in the New Territories.
It seems that triad elements are exerting greater and greater influence over Hong Kong’s governance. It is an alarming trend that has to be reversed without further delay.
Translated by Stanley Ng. Edited by Sally Appert.