Stabbing of Hong Kong lawmaker condemned, called ‘election violence’
HONG KONG (China Daily/ANN) - Central authorities in charge of Hong Kong affairs voiced strong condemnation over the stabbing of a Hong Kong lawmaker, calling it a violent attempt to influence elections.
The remark came after a man stabbed Junius Ho Kwan-yiu, a member of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, on Wednesday. Two of Ho’s colleagues were also injured during the incident.
Ho was canvassing votes for the district council elections slated for Nov 24. In addition to Ho, two other candidates — Lo Chun-yu and Chiang Ching-man — are also running for district councilor of Lok Tsui, Tuen Mun.
On Thursday, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council spokeswoman Xu Luying said the shocking attack was “pure election violence” and extended condolences to Ho and his colleagues.
Xu said radicals in Hong Kong are creating a “chilling effect” by threatening and intimidating district council election candidates and their supporters who have voiced opposition against violence. This is meant to affect election results for the purpose of seizing political power, she said.
Recently, rioters in Hong Kong have stepped up their violence by vandalizing candidates’ streetside stalls as well as offices and properties belonging to pro-establishment lawmakers.
They also launched a string of attacks on mainland-linked companies, the Xinhua News Agency office, as well as people holding different views from their own.
Xu said extreme violence is absolutely intolerable in any society, adding that all elections in Hong Kong must be conducted in a fair, safe and orderly environment.
Ending violence and restoring order remains the priority for Hong Kong, she said. To achieve this goal, Xu called for concerted efforts by the city’s executive, legislative and judicial authorities, and all sectors of the Hong Kong community.
The attack was also condemned by the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR. In a statement issued on Friday, a spokesperson of the office pointed out that the intent of the attacker was crystal clear — to kill Ho by stabbing him in the upper body.
The extreme violence has challenged the bottom line of law and morality, and undermined the fairness of the upcoming district council elections, the spokesperson said, adding that the office called for a thorough investigation to bring the offender to justice.
The spokesperson stressed that the radicals are aiming to disrupt the district council elections and destabilize the city. The public should clearly see their ill-intentions and make joint efforts to safeguard Hong Kong’s rule of law and the “one country, two systems” principle.
Also on Friday, the arrested man suspected of stabbing Ho appeared in court and was charged with attempted murder, an offense that could earn him a possible life imprisonment.
According to the prosecutor, Tung Pak-fai, 30, admitted to police that he had aimed to kill Ho when he stabbed the lawmaker in the chest with a 33 centimeter knife.
The suspect, unemployed and a resident of Kwai Chung, was remanded in custody until the next hearing on Feb 3. Until that time, police will collect more evidence and await medical reports.
After two days of medical treatment, Ho was discharged from the hospital on Friday afternoon under police escort in a wheelchair.