Leung Chun-ying

Hong Kong police keep tight rein at Leung Chun-ying public meeting

Activists try to throw objects at chief executive, but they fail to hit the mark

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 December, 2013, 6:37am
UPDATED : Monday, 09 December, 2013, 6:37am

Beefed up security prevented Leung Chun-ying from being hit with missiles at a rowdy forum on his policy address and budget yesterday.

Uniformed and plain clothes officers maintained a watertight defence in protecting the chief executive at the community centre in Tai Kok Tsui, a day after Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah was hit by an egg at a forum.

League of Social Democrats lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung came closest when he hurled a paper ball made of "hell" notes. But it missed its target and was hit back in mid-flight by the chairman of Yau Tsim Mong district council, Chung Kong-mo, who hosted the forum.

Activist Lui Yuk-lin had planned to throw a pineapple and eggs, but security guards stopped her outside the venue and confiscated the fruit.

"The security guards were of the view that it was an offensive weapon," said Anna Tsang Yim-sheung, deputy Mong Kok police district commander.

Lui complained that her own hell notes were also taken from her. After being dragged out of the venue for shouting - one of 13 participants ousted out of 300 people at the venue - she burned a portrait of Leung on the ground and threw eggs at it.

On Saturday Tsang was hit on the head by an egg thrown by a protester in North Point, later joking that his doctor had told him "not to take too many eggs".

Yesterday's forum, which covered welfare issues like housing and poverty alleviation, was also attended by labour and welfare minister Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, home affairs undersecretary Florence Hui Hiu-fai and outgoing financial services undersecretary Julia Leung Fung-yee.

The chief executive was urged to do more for young people who were out of work, and there were calls for a universal retirement scheme. Although Leung was shouted down whenever he tried to speak, he said such forums would continue.

"The government will not give up its work to outreach to the public because of a small group of people's disruption of order," said Leung. Separately, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor expressed regret about the disruptions.

Despite the vigorous protests and Lam's acknowledgement on Saturday that the narrow voter base that put Leung in office had created a governance problem, the chief executive said: "The administration's governance has been effective. We have achieved phased progress in delivering various policies."