The former Ming Pao chief editor, who is recovering from injuries sustained in a chopping attack, says he doubts it was intended as a warning and instead was an attempt on his life.
Kevin Lau Chun-to was commenting on the February 27 attack for the first time, in an article published on the newspaper's website yesterday.
Lau also recalled how he remained conscious after he was chopped six times with a meat cleaver in an ambush in Sai Wan Ho, leaving deep gashes to his legs that exposed vital organs.
No motive has been established for the attack, which police say was a "classic triad hit", where a pillion passenger leapt off a motorcycle and slashed Lau from behind. Lau was still being treated in hospital yesterday while police searched for two suspects.
In the article, Lau said he "doubted" suggestions that his attackers may have been wanting to injure him, not kill him.
"Several experienced doctors have told me that, judging from my wounds, the attackers' aim was to punish and threaten [me], rather than taking my life," Lau wrote. "But plunging a knife into someone's back can do some serious damage. Just a millimetre in variation could have had a very different outcome.
"As I lay in my hospital bed, I wondered why the knife had stopped just before it entered my lung and spleen, without really damaging my organs."
Lau added that a surgeon had told him that the knife used in the attack was "so sharp that even a small piece of my sternum was sliced away".
"[He said my] internal organs were not injured simply because my pelvic bone blocked" the knife, Lau said. "This doctor's words got me thinking; rather than the knifeman showing mercy, this was merely the knife being stopped by hard bone - all in a split second."
Lau did not touch on the issue of press freedom in the article. The attack, which followed his controversial removal as chief editor of Ming Pao, prompted international concern and a march for press freedom that saw thousands take to the streets.
He also explained what happened in the moments after the attack. "Friends visiting me asked how I was able to make a call to police after being stabbed so many times.
"Actually, I didn't feel much pain at that time. My legs were numb and weak and my back was a little painful, and there were just a few drops of blood on my hands," he wrote.
But doctors then had to transfuse some 4,000cc of blood. "All of the blood in my body was replaced," Lau said.