Pan-democrats condemn district council over grants to Beijing-loyalists

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 April, 2014, 4:55am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 April, 2014, 4:55am

Pan-democratic parties have come together to condemn Central and Western District Council for giving HK$150,000 to Beijing-loyalist groups with which some councillors have close ties.

They also condemned the treatment of Democratic Party councillor Ted Hui Chi-fung, who said he was injured by council security guards during a sit-in on Thursday while trying to meet the local district officer, Cheryl Chow Ho-kiu.

In a statement, the camp's district councillors said: "[We] are disappointed by the treatment towards a publicly elected representative during the performance of his duties, and strongly condemn the ... council."

The statement was issued by the Democratic Party, NeoDemocrats, Civic Party and the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood.

"We are deeply worried that the [council's] evil act will spread to other councils, by carving up social resources [opaquely] and further rotting Hong Kong's system and order," it said.

It sought an apology from the council and Chow's employer, the Home Affairs Department.

Hui and party colleague Ng Siu-hong had been protesting at the council since Monday to ask Chow to examine a decision to award grants for activities promoting the Basic Law to the Hong Kong Island Federation and the Association of the Hong Kong Central and Western District.

It was the latest twist in a row that had already seen Hui thrown out of a meeting of the council's working group on civic education on March 6. A meeting on March 27 ended in chaos when he resisted another effort to eject him.

The HK$150,000 is the bulk of HK$250,000 granted to the council by the government to promote the Basic Law. Hui alleged a conflict of interest because several councillors were members of or advisers to the recipients.