Legislative Council elections 2016

Hong Kong housewife forged 13 voter forms in bid to gain residency for Fujian aunt, court hears

Hung Yin-yuk filled in and signed more than a dozen district council election registration forms with false signatures and addresses, despite there being no link between voter registration and a person’s residence in the city

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 September, 2016, 8:17pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 September, 2016, 9:07pm

A housewife forged more than a dozen district council election registration forms in hope of facilitating her mainland aunt’s bid to acquire residency in Hong Kong, a court heard on Wednesday.

To help her illiterate aunt, Hung Yin-yuk filled in and signed 13 forms with false signatures and addresses between April and June last year, Fanling Court heard.

The personal details found on the forms actually belonged to other relatives, the court heard, and the listed addresses were mainly those of Hung and her husband, not those of the relatives concerned.

There is no relationship between a voter registration and a person’s residence in the city, but Hong Xiulian, the 58-year-old aunt, claimed she had been told by “unspecified mainlanders” that voter registration could expedite her bid to acquire residency, which she wanted in order to take care of her ailing parents.

The pair pleaded guilty to seven joint charges of forgery on Wednesday, while Hung, 40, admitted a further six counts of the same offence.

Deputy magistrate Minnie Wat Lai-man said: “[The defendants] used the personal details of others, which shows clearly [the offence] was committed in an organised and premeditated way.”

She said the pair’s acts had affected the city’s fair election system, and she would consider a sentence of deterrence to send a message that the courts had no tolerance for such offences.

The magistrate’s comments come just days after the city held its Legislative Council elections, during which some voters complained they had arrived at polling stations only to find their votes had allegedly already been cast without their knowledge.

Hung and Hong’s case was unearthed on June 30 last year when the Registration and Electoral Office noticed the 13 forms carried similar handwriting. They subsequently called police.

After their arrest, Hung told officers she had been helping out on the request of her aunt. Hong, from Fujian, said some people from the mainland had told her that voter registration could speed up her residence application.

Hung’s lawyer said in mitigation that the mainland-born mother of two had not benefited from the act as she was politically apathetic and the election results did not concern her. She also had no financial incentive to commit the offence, the court heard, as she was financially well off.

The lawyer said Hong merely wanted to come to Hong Kong for her parents.

Hong, who received limited education, also had no clue about Hong Kong’s election system as “there are no free elections” on the mainland, the court heard.

Wat remanded the pair pending background reports, which will be used to sentence them on September 21.