Community work for bridge stunt

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 December, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 December, 2006, 12:00am

An abode seeker's father was yesterday ordered to perform 180 hours of community service for climbing on the roof of a Wan Chai footbridge in a June protest that disrupted traffic for eight hours.

Chu Kwok-yin, 59, scaled the Hennessy Road bridge with three other parents of abode seekers to push for talks with Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong.

Chu, whose 31-year-old son lives in Guangzhou, was convicted last month after pleading not guilty to causing a public nuisance.

Magistrate William Ng Sing-wai said the group should respect the interpretation of the Basic Law by the National People's Congress Standing Committee, which ruled that while children of permanent residents had right of abode, this did not apply unless one parent was a permanent resident at birth.

'You claimed that you respect the rule of law in Hong Kong. But you should have complied with a law which you do not like as well,' Mr Ng said. 'To express your anger in a way that completely neglects the needs of the public is foolish.'

Mr Ng said the best way for Chu to compensate for his wrongdoing was to perform community service.

Chu said he did nothing wrong.

'We were just fighting for what we want,' he said. 'Climbing onto the footbridge did not cause any public nuisance at all.'

Chu, who is unemployed, said he supports himself by collecting discarded soft-drink cans.

Two other defendants - Tse Ka-kei, 58, and Mau Yuk-nga, 61 - were this month ordered to perform 120 and 150 hours of community service, respectively.

Lau Kak-man, who also pleaded not guilty, stands trial on March 12.