A Hong Kong activist who promotes independence from China and was involved in recent street battles with police stood for office yesterday in a key by-election that highlights the territory’s political fault lines.
Edward Leung (梁天琦), 24, one of the leaders of “localist” group Hong Kong Indigenous, is vying to become a legislator after a prominent pro-democracy politician stepped down.
Leung is taking on six other contenders for the New Territories East seat, including candidates from pro-Beijing and pro-democracy camps.
Since massive rallies in 2014 calling for fully free leadership elections failed to win concessions from Beijing, young protesters like Leung have become increasingly disillusioned with the more established pro-democracy parties.
Smaller groups have emerged under a “localist” banner, pushing for greater autonomy and even independence from China, as fears over interference from Beijing grow.
Their frustrations spilt over into violence earlier this month when running street battles left more than 100 injured after masked protesters hurled bricks at police, who fired warning shots in the air.
Leung is facing a rioting charge for his involvement.
“Hongkongers are the masters of their own soil,” Leung said yesterday.
“I will defend Hong Kong people’s interests and Hong Kong people’s rights,” he told reporters.
Leung is not tipped to win, but his candidacy would be a barometer of how much support the fledgling localist movement can garner at the ballot box.
“I voted for him. We need to speak out about what’s happening,” a 56-year-old engineer surnamed Cheung said. “It’s completely understandable that young people want change.”
Others urged calm.
“We should not be radical,” a 40-year-old voter surnamed Yeung said.
“Any problems should be dealt with peacefully and rationally,” she said.
Observers said Alvin Yeung (楊岳橋) of the established pro-democracy Civic Party or Holden Chow (周浩鼎) of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong are most likely to win.
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”
A Malaysian student whose cellphone was stolen while he was sleeping has tracked down the culprit: a monkey who took photo and video selfies with the device before abandoning it. Zackrydz Rodzi, 20, on Wednesday said that his mobile phone was missing from his bedroom when he woke up on Saturday. He found the phone’s casing under his bed, but there was no sign of robbery in his house in Johor state. JUNGLE When his father saw a monkey the next day, he searched in the jungle behind his house. Using his brother’s cellphone to call his own device, he found it covered
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
Australia is notorious for its venomous spiders, snakes and sea creatures, but researchers have now identified “scorpion-like” toxins secreted by a tree that can cause excruciating pain for weeks. Split-second contact with the dendrocnide tree, a rainforest nettle known by its Aboriginal name gympie-gympie, delivers a sting far more potent than similar plants found in the US or Europe. A team of Australian scientists said that they now better understand why the gympie-gympie’s sting haunts those unlucky enough to brush up against its leaves. Victims report an initial sting that “feels like fire at first, then subsides over hours to a pain reminiscent