Academic to sue Taiwan office

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 March, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 17 March, 2000, 12:00am

Taiwan's de facto consulate faces a lawsuit after an academic was refused a visa to visit the island.

Stephen Yam Chi-ming, a barrister by training who now teaches at City University, said yesterday he would seek compensation from the Chung Hwa Travel Service.

'I'm not sure why I was not issued the visa. It may be because I am a former member of the [pro-Beijing] Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong,' he said.

Mr Yam had been invited by the Chinese Progressive Association to join a fact-finding trip to Taiwan on the presidential election.

He had planned to leave yesterday and stay for four days but was told on Wednesday he would not be issued with an entry visa.

Mr Yam said he applied for the visa on February 17 and was told at the end of last month there was no problem.

Mr Yam said he would file a lawsuit at the Small Claims Tribunal next week.

He also claimed he had failed to find any record of the travel service at the Company Registry and was querying if it was registered under the Companies Ordinance.

A spokesman for the Chung Hwa Travel Service denied there were political considerations behind the visa decision. He said Mr Yam had previously travelled to Taiwan on his Canadian passport and he was not entitled to apply for a visa for a Hong Kong resident.

Although Mr Yam said he had stopped using his Canadian passport, he had failed to supply documents to verify this, he added.