Five more jailed for vote-rigging in Hong Kong district council election

Defendants admit giving false addresses when registering for district council poll

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 August, 2012, 3:14am

Five men were each sentenced to two months in jail yesterday for vote-rigging in last November's district council election.

Questions, however, linger as to who masterminded the scam, despite several people being convicted over giving false addresses when registering to vote.

All five men in yesterday's proceedings had admitted one count each of engaging in corrupt conduct with respect to voting at an election. None of them applied for pre-appeal bail, meaning they were put behind bars immediately.

Kowloon City Court heard that they provided an address in Soy Street, Mong Kok, in their voter registration forms to electoral officials in July last year.

They later voted in the November poll in the King's Park constituency of Yau Tsim Mong District.

None of them actually lived in the constituency.

Acting Principal Magistrate Peter Law Tak-chuen said vote-rigging was a "very serious" offence, and imprisonment was an appropriate punishment.

The five were Tang Sui-kay, Chan Chung-lung, Chan Yuet-sang, Luk Kong-shing and Ho King-cheung. They were employees of the Lok Yuen Chiu Chau Noodles Restaurant, operated by defeated independent candidate Wong Biu.

The defendants' common counsel, Tony Li, told the court in a mitigation submission that they had received no benefit as a result of their act.

He later said outside court that they accepted the decision and that there were not many grounds for an appeal anyway.

Luk, who lived in Mong Kok, was asked to sign - without filling in his address - a voter registration form by what he called an "unidentified man". The man also told Luk to support Wong in the election, the prosecution said.

Ho, a public housing tenant in Ngau Tau Kok, was also asked by an "unidentified election helper" to fill in a form with an address in Yau Ma Tei. He later voted in the election.

Despite their support, Wong failed to be elected, gaining just 118 votes, the lowest among five candidates.

Social worker Edward Leung Wai-kuen won the election in the constituency.

Wong was arrested by the Independent Commission Against Corruption but has not been charged.

Earlier this month, a brother and sister, Chan Yuet-sun and Chan Siu-kwan, both relatives of Wong, were handed two months in jail for vote-rigging. It was the most severe sentence meted out since seven men were convicted on vote-rigging charges in March.

Additional reporting by Lai Ying-kit