Democrats' leaflets support Lee's article

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 November, 2007, 12:00am

The Democratic Party plans to distribute leaflets defending its founding chairman, Martin Lee Chu-ming, for his appeal to US President George W. Bush to press the mainland to improve its human rights record.

The leaflets contain statements issued by the Democratic Party and 23 pan-democrats that condemn Beijing loyalists' attack on Mr Lee's article, published in The Wall Street Journal two weeks ago.

The party's counterattack came just a day after the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong stepped up its campaign by distributing leaflets challenging Mr Lee's denial that he had invited foreign interference in China's affairs in his remarks and was, therefore, a traitor.

In an interview on the RTHK television programme Legco Review, broadcast last night, Mr Lee admitted he was facing 'the strongest, most unreasonable and most unfair pressure' in his political career.

He said he had not yet decided whether to run again in the Legislative Council election next year, but the episode would not affect his final decision.

He disputed the claim regarding the article's purpose.

'I am not pressurising China, but pressing for human rights ... It is baffling that this time [the criticism] is so overwhelming and comes from different quarters of society,' he said.

Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan said the party would distribute leaflets condemning the pro-government camp for what it called distortion of the truth for electoral gain.

DAB chairman Tam Yiu-chung said yesterday that he had reported to police a threatening letter he received on Wednesday. He refused to comment on the purpose or who he thought might be involved.

Mr Tam said he was 'very angry' over Mr Lee's remarks and had requested an apology.

He said the letter, addressed to him and his family, said: 'Are you trying to stand out? [If so,] spraying petroleum [on you] is my favourite.'