Hong Kong Politics & Protest

CY orders officials to ‘look into’ housing plan row after phone chat with lawmaker-elect Eddie Chu

Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, the incoming lawmaker who has been under police protection from death threats against him, said the Chief Executive has asked government officials to look into a controversial public housing project that Chu opposed.

Chu appeared at police headquarters on Sunday with several hundred people gathered to support him against threats and “political violence.” Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying previously said he tried to call Chu but he was not reachable. Chu said at the rally that Leung was calling his old number, and Leung eventually reached Chu by his new number for a seven-minute conversation on Saturday.

Eddie Chu

Eddie Chu. Photo: SocRec.

Chu said he raised three issues with Leung. He asked Leung to explain the reason why a project to provide 17,000 public housing flats in Wang Chau, Yuen Long – on a piece of land turned into a car park – was turned into a 4,000-flat project on a piece of land where there were three villages.

Chu previously accused pro-Beijing lawmaker Leung Che-cheung and rural leader Tsang Shu-wo of colluding with each other to keep the land from being taken back and developed. Tsang has been accused of operating a car park on the disputed government-owned land.

“I told him that we can’t understand why we cannot read the reports from the Housing Department in 2012 and 2013? Why can’t they be made public, so the public will know how the Housing Department looked into it?” he said.

“Leung Chun-ying told me he will ask [Secretary for Development] Paul Chan Mo-po to look into the issue,” he added, saying he will meet Chan soon.

Eddie Chu

Eddie Chu. Photo: SocRec.

The second issue Chu raised was over the “undemocratic” structure of the powerful rural body Heung Yee Kuk. Chu accused it of being non-transparent and said that Leung could insert his close allies into the body.

“I told Leung Chun-ying that I will propose amending the Heung Yee Kuk Ordinance in the Legislative Council. I asked him if the government would support it. He told me to talk to [Secretary for Home Affairs] Lau Kong-wah,” he said.

Chu said he thought this was a city-wide issue and wondered why it was being handled by Leung.

The last issue they discussed during the call was Chu’s concern about “collusion between the government, business, the rural sector and triads.” He said Leung did not answer and hung up.

But Chu said the conversation was relaxed and Leung gave better answers than he expected. “He did not say that it was none of my business and that Heung Yee Kuk cannot be changed,” he said.

Andrew Wan

Andrew Wan (on mic). Photo: SocRec.

More political violence

Chu said that both he and Andrew Wan Siu-kin, another incoming lawmaker in the New Territories West constituency who is interested in land issues, would face more political violence.

Wan previously said he received several letters with cutter blades attached, and that a campaign van of his was splashed with flammable liquid days before the election.

A statement from the government on Sunday following the rally said the government was very concerned and attached great importance to Chu’s case. It said that the government would not tolerate any intimidation against the personal safety of Hong Kong citizens.

“Hong Kong, as a society that upholds the rule of law, will not accept any person being subject to threats due to his remarks or stance on community affairs. The Government will spare no effort in taking resolute actions against any illegal acts,” a spokesperson said.

Eddie Chu

Photo: SocRec.

The police took action against triad activities in Yuen Long since last Saturday, inspecting mahjong clubs, arcades, bars, and massage parlors, among other places, in relation to death threats received by Chu, reported Ming Pao.

CY orders officials to 'look into' housing plan row after phone chat with lawmaker-elect Eddie Chu