A district council election candidate from a localist group has decided to withdraw from the race, as it has been revealed he joined a group supporting Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying which attacked protesters who were not in favour of Leung in 2013.
Ho Wai-cheung is a Lingnan University student who was a member of the Tuen Mun Community Concern Group running in Fu Tai constituency in Tuen Mun. In a statement he said he did not want to hurt anyone.
“I was instigated by friends to start conflicts with protesters in the 2013 protest against Leung Chun-ying in Tin Shui Wai, but I must stress that I did not attempt, nor have the intention, to harm anybody.”
“In fact, I was a young person with no knowledge in politics. I only wanted to help a friend, I did not think it over and made such a mistake,” Ho said, adding, “I give my most sincere apology to all the related people.”
His involvement with the group of masked people was first discovered by netizens on HKGolden forum on Wednesday night.
Back in 2013, after the Tin Shui Wai incident, Apple Daily reported that the masked people involved were from triad groups.
Ho said he joined a student organisation last December to learn more about politics and change himself. He decided to join the district council elections to “correct past mistakes.”
He had published articles online as a Scholarism member. He also joined the Tuen Mun Community Concern Group after it was started in December 2014.
“But I only realised now that I have not done enough… To show my sincerity, I am willing to withdraw from district council election activities, and resign from the Tuen Mun Community Concern Group, I wish to serve the residents wholeheartedly in the future, to show I am willing to turn over a new leaf.”
Tuen Mun Community Concern Group also issued a statement apologising for the incident.
“We admit that due to insufficient election preparation time, we have not been able to investigate the background of some of our candidates, which has caused unnecessary speculation and misunderstanding. We apologise for that,” the group said.
Manwell Chan of the Federation of Trade Unions is the other Fu Tai constituency candidate.
Localist groups are generally pro-democracy but many consider pro-democracy activists and pan-democrats within the legislature to be ineffective. The camp is also tied with various movements related to the expansion of Hong Kong’s autonomy, for example advocating for city-state status or outright independence.
The district council elections will take place on November 22.
Update 2:15pm: Although Ho Wai-cheung said he is willing to withdraw from district council election activities, withdrawal will not be accepted after the end of the nomination period on October 15, according to the Electoral Affairs Commission.