Ex-Ming Pao chief editor Kevin Lau returns to work after February attack

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 August, 2014, 5:20pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 August, 2014, 2:57am

Former Ming Pao chief editor Kevin Lau Chun-to yesterday returned to work for the first time since a triad-style attack nearly six months ago, and urged journalists to stand firm on their core principles as the city heads into a political storm.

"Journalists should not yield to any pressure and must be courageous, especially at times of political instability," Lau said as he arrived at Ming Pao's Chai Wan offices. Appearing tired, Lau walked with the aid of a crutch. In June he said doctors had told him it could take up to two years to fully recover from deep wounds to his legs and back inflicted in February's chopper attack.

"I will receive physiotherapy every morning and come in for half-days of work," Lau said.

Though no firm motive for the attack has been established, it led to concerns about declining press freedom and protests by journalists.

It came weeks after management announced that Lau was to move from the newspaper to oversee a new electronic books and teaching division. The decision, and his replacement with a Malaysian journalist with no prior experience of working in Hong Kong, sparked anger from staff.

Lau struck a defiant tone when asked how the attack would affect his work. He pledged to "stand his ground" and continue "to stick to the core principles of journalism".

On his own future, he said: "I haven't come up with a concrete career plan yet, but my team and I had focused our efforts on planning for the incorporation of multimedia elements on our website before the assault."

The veteran journalist was attacked by a man wielding a meat cleaver on February 26 in Sai Wan Ho. His assailant fled on a motorcycle with another man.

Two men yesterday appeared in Eastern Court charged with malicious wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm in connection to the attack. The case against Yip Kim-wah and Wong Chi-wan was transferred to the Court of First Instance. The pair have not yet entered a plea.