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Legislative Council elections 2016

‘Normal life’ might be elusive, Hong Kong legislator-elect Eddie Chu says after death threats

Leading Legco elections vote-getter adds city needs stronger pro-democracy movement before it can negotiate with Beijing

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 September, 2016, 4:31pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 September, 2016, 11:30pm

Newly-elected Hong Kong legislator Eddie Chu Hoi-dick is considering moving into the Legislative Council complex with his family to ensure their personal safety.

Speaking on a radio programme on Saturday morning, the veteran activist also said the city’s pro-democracy movement needed to be strengthened before it could start negotiating with Beijing.

Chu, who won 84,121 votes in the New Territories West election, has been under round-the-clock police protection since Thursday.

The veteran activist has for years been taking on vested interests over land rights in the New Territories.

It is understood the police suspect a triad in Yuen Long is behind the death threats against Chu and that authorities are looking into the possible involvement of a rural strongman.

“If I become more successful [in my activism], the threats I face will be even stronger,” the legislator-elect said. “But [the threats I face now] are also a good opportunity for me to be better prepared for the next four years.”

Watch: Eddie Chu Hoi-dick after surprise election win

Chu worries he and his family could face threats for the rest of their lives unless he stops his activism in rural areas.

“If [the police investigation] yields no results, the incident will fade from the spotlight. But it doesn’t mean it has ended,” he said. “I worry I might not be able to return to a normal life.”

On whether Chu would be allowed to live in the Legco complex, the Legco secretariat said the offices provided to legislators were for activities related to their work in the chamber.

During the programme, Chu said he was not yet interested in negotiating with Beijing over developing democracy in Hong Kong.

He explained the pro-democracy camp did not have enough power to do so at present, nor did it have a clear direction as to where the movement should go.

“Negotiating without actual power is the same as surrendering,” he said.

Chu stressed he was against restarting the five-step political reform process, a common demand by pan-democrats.

“[Restarting political reform] could be a repeat of what happened two years ago,” he said. “Why would you believe Beijing would put forward an equal and just proposal?”

Chu said the pro-democracy camp needed to be strengthened in the next few years.

Meanwhile, legislator-elect Andrew Wan Siu-kin slammed police for not acting on threats he said he had received before and after the election. He said they ­included razor blades and threatening messages in the mail.

The Democratic Party vice-chairman said the threats may have come from those with vested interests in the New Territories.

He added he had made four ­reports to the police, but had not received the protection he needed.

Separately, Democratic Party’s James To Kun-sun said his party would put forward a candidate to contest the Legislative Council chairmanship if no pan-democratic or localist groups did so.

When asked who the Democratic Party would put forward as a candidate, To said he would not rule himself out, since he among party members has served the longest as a legislator.

To added that preparations had begun for a communication platform across the pan-democratic camp. He said he hoped it could hold its first meeting at the end of September.

While some localists said they would not join the platform, the Democratic Party legislator said he hoped they could attend the first meeting before reaching a decision.