Veteran activist has fought last battle

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 November, 2013, 4:17am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 November, 2013, 4:41am

An ardent defender of Victoria Harbour has decided to give up on public affairs after joining the walkout of a hearing over a planned PLA base.

Winston Chu Ka-sun said in a brief statement yesterday that he had made the decision to "resign as adviser to the Society for Protection of the Harbour, and to retire from all public affairs".

Chu founded the society some 18 years ago and has since been fighting government plans to reclaim the harbour.

The 73-year-old lawyer once described himself as "not a hero nor a coward, but just an idiot who wants to serve Hong Kong".

In yesterday's statement, he said: "Unfortunately, recent events have forced upon me the conclusion that it will not be possible for me to make any further contribution to the public affairs of Hong Kong. I therefore will leave the stage to wiser and better people," he added.

Chu did not explicitly say what "recent events" had led him to make such a decision. But he has been fighting against the government plan to hand over a stretch of waterfront in Central to the People's Liberation Army, to be used as a military berth.

He claims the proposal runs contrary to a 1999 Town Planning Board promise "to make Victoria Harbour attractive, vibrant, accessible and symbolic of Hong Kong - a harbour for the people and a harbour of life".

He has warned of taking legal action to try to stop the plan.

Chu and others walked out of a Town Planning Board meeting yesterday on the PLA base, over restrictions on how long they could speak for.