Pro-Beijing Kowloon West by-election candidate Rebecca Chan Hoi-yan has apologised after one of her pamphlets was criticised for plagiarising a document written by a democrat.
Kenny Lai, a Democratic Party Kowloon City district councillor, said he found the pamphlet on the ground when he was going home after a meeting on Tuesday night. The flyer promoted by Chan and the Federation of Trade Union’s Cheung Chung-hang.
“I was curious to see what new things Ms Chan and Mr Cheung were doing, but I found some of the wording very familiar when I looked at it… It was a document that two Kowloon City district councillors and I submitted to the District Council in September 2017 – the content was exactly the same,” Lai wrote in a Facebook post.
The pamphlet was urging a review of tourism laws, as the Kowloon City district has seen a large influx of mainland tourists and the area’s facilities have yet to catch up.
Lai criticised Chan as lacking professional standards, despite her being a former broadcast journalist.
“Did you ask others when you plagiarised other people’s homework?” Lai said. “Didn’t they teach you about plagiarism at university?”
In response, Chan’s team said: “We are deeply sorry that, in a promotional pamphlet on local issues, we used reference materials as the final version because of a mistake in production.”
“The team has stopped distributing the relevant pamphlets,” it added.
Pro-democracy candidate Lee Cheuk-yan said that Chan had 15 years of experience in the media, and it was unacceptable that she plagiarised suggestions from a pro-democracy district councillor.
“The ‘media DNA’ that she was so proud of – was it Xinhua’s news articles that everyone has to use, or content farms that plagiarise content all the time?” Lee said.
Citizen News reported that the same plagiarised content was also printed on joint pamphlets from other pro-Beijing district councillors, including Lam Pok of Kowloon West New Dynamic and Luk King-kwong of Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong – over 9,000 copies were printed of the latter.
Other candidates for the November 25 by-election for the Kowloon West geographical constituency include Fung Kin-kee Frederick, Ng Dick-hay and Tzeng Li-wen Judy.