Hong Kong Law & Crime Politics & Protest

i-Cable films Carrie Lam election day supporters being paid HK$600 each to attend rally

An undercover reporter from television network i-Cable has filmed supporters of Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam appearing to receive HK$600 after attending Sunday’s election day event.

Video footage showed a man paying two supporters and the reporter a sum of money, after they reportedly attended a rally in support of Lam outside Wan Chai’s Convention and Exhibition Centre.

 

《新聞刺針》
【應徵參與撐林鄭集會】

特首選舉,參與集會有糧出,包膳食,這份工哪裡尋?《新聞刺針》去過應徵,直擊這份工有何待遇、如何運作。

Publié par 新聞刺針 sur dimanche 26 mars 2017

Inside the venue, 777 of 1,194 electors voted in Carrie Lam as Hong Kong’s next leader in a small-circle election. The former chief secretary had long been rumoured to be Beijing’s favoured candidate, and some electors complained of being pressured to vote for her.

When confronted later by i-Cable reporters, the man denied paying participants to support Lam. “What’s wrong with treating someone to a meal?” the man asked, before walking away from the journalists.

According to the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance, it is illegal for persons other than candidates and their authorised expense agents to incur expenses in connection with an election.

‘Who cares who we’re shouting for?’

Earlier, rally participants told i-Cable that they had been asked to come by various fraternity associations in Hong Kong. Fraternity associations are community organisations, which are devoted to serving Hongkongers who originate from different parts of China.

In the past, these organisations have been accused of giving gifts to encourage people to vote for pro-Beijing candidates during local elections.

ce election 2017

A pro-democracy demonstrator shouts at pro-govt protesters at a rally on election day. File photo: HKFP/Catherine Lai.

One participant told i-Cable she was from the Guangxi association, while another said he was from Fujian. They shouted slogans such as: “Anti-Hong Kong independence, support Carrie Lam!”

“Who cares who we’re shouting for? As long as they pay us money,” one participant then said.

See also: In Pictures: Protests as Carrie Lam wins Hong Kong’s small-circle leadership election

After Lam’s electoral victory was announced at around 12:30pm, rally organisers asked participants to take a group photograph. They said that participants would be treated to a meal, and that money would be paid. The entire event lasted for around five hours.

‘Evidence’

i-Cable reported that the rally was organised by a pro-Beijing group called Voice of Justice, but the convener of the group denied paying any money to participants. “You can check for yourself and provide evidence,” he told i-Cable.

ce election 2017

A pro-govt protester holds a placard supporting the small-circle election. It reads: “Elect the chief executive according to the law; fairly elect a competent leader.” File photo: HKFP/Catherine Lai.

In response to i-Cable’s enquiries, Carrie Lam’s campaign office said that it had no relationship with the rally, and did not know anything about the rally’s operations.

“We are talking about an evidence-based society, and I don’t know anything about it,” Lam told reporters on Monday.

i-Cable currently faces an uncertain future after its parent company announced in early March that it would no longer fund the television network after its current license expires in May.

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i-Cable films Carrie Lam election day supporters being paid HK$600 each to attend rally