Two Pakistani asylum seekers are being sought by police over a brutal attack last month on the president of the Pakistan Association of Hong Kong, Qamar Zaman Minhas, in Tsim Sha Tsui.
The two men in their thirties were identified after detectives pored over surveillance camera footage and sought help from the Immigration Department, according to a police source.
The source said the pair had tried in vain to find Minhas at his Tsim Sha Tsui office a day before the attack, which took place in broad daylight in a busy shopping area on January 10.
Minhas, 43, an Equal Opportunities Commission member, suffered a 40cm wound to his back. He was released from Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei after treatment.
The identification of two suspects comes after the United Muslim Association of Hong Kong wrote to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying last month describing the attack as an "open challenge for Hong Kong police".
The association demanded that police find the reasons behind the attack, which had "damaged the reputation of a peaceful city" and created fear among the general public and those who "play a major role in Hong Kong's economy".
The association demanded that Leung take "immediate and serious action" in order to provide "comfort and safety" to those involved and the wider public, and also demanded that he monitor the case personally.
The Office of the Chief Executive confirmed it had received the letter and said police were investigating the attack.
Minhas was walking with a friend when he was ambushed outside Burlington House on Nathan Road - some 400 metres from the Tsim Sha Tsui police station - shortly after 2pm on January 10.
Police said one of the attackers blocked Minhas and the other assaulted him from behind.
The two attackers fled on foot after Minhas ran into a nearby shoe shop to seek help.
Yesterday, a police investigator said the motive remained unknown. "We are looking into all possibilities," he said.
The attack came just days before Commissioner of Police Andy Tsang Wai-hung announced that the total number of crimes last year - at 72,911 - was the lowest in a decade.