District Board members fined
FOUR Tuen Mun District Board members have lost their eight-month fight against illegal gambling charges and were each fined $1,000 in San Po Kong Court yesterday.
However, they believe their political careers will not be affected by their convictions because the offence was minor, describing mahjong playing as a way of life in Hong Kong.
So Shui-shing, 54, also a Regional Councillor, Shung King-fai, 38, Christopher Chu Cho-yan, 25, and Ng Wai-cho, 42, had pleaded not guilty to gambling in a gambling establishment.
The men had asserted that mahjong was lawful in Hong Kong and that they were not truly gambling, with Shung saying the loser would buy a meal.
Magistrate Patrick Li rejected their assumption that gambling in the establishment was lawful.
Solicitor Albert Ho Chun-yan, for Shung, Chu and Ng, had urged the court to consider they had been under stress and embarrassed by the case.
Counsel Kaiser Kong said So had already been punished mentally and emotionally because of the proceedings.
Speaking outside court, So, an independent, said playing mahjong was very popular in Hong Kong and he did not think the conviction would affect his political career.
Chu, a United Democrat, said he would seek re-election. His colleagues Ng and Shung have not decided whether to stand again.
Prosecutor William Lam had told the court that the defendants were among 40 people arrested during a police raid on the Bamboo Club, Sam Shing Street, Tuen Mun, on June 15, last year.