Winston Chu says his family is safer since he gave up leadership of harbour protection group Harbour protection activist Winston Chu Ka-sun, who quit Hong Kong saying he feared for his family's safety after receiving anonymous threats, says he returned after just a few weeks because he had 'defused the situation'. Mr Chu yesterday said his fears over the threats of violence which forced his family into hiding - and which police yesterday said they were still investigating - have decreased since he stepped down as chairman of the Society for the Protection of the Harbour. He said his decision to retire and make way for Christine Loh Kung-wai to succeed him had allowed him to continue working against the government's reclamation plans away from the limelight. 'It is possible I have defused the situation. It was quite possible that the threats were meant to be a warning and someone simply wanted to voice their objections to what I was doing,' he said. 'It might not have been any intention to do something to harm my mother and wife but my problem at the time was that I could not afford to take a chance. Therefore, I had to balance between being courageous and showing wisdom.' The activist received the letters, written in English, on October 10. He left Hong Kong and went to London three days later, only to return on November 3. It was later revealed the threats began with the sentence, 'This is a joke'. They included threats of a 'sexual assault' on his wife and a 'nasty accident' for his elderly mother. A police spokesman told the Sunday Morning Post the case was still under investigation by Hong Kong Island Regional Crime Unit. 'Police are maintaining close contact with Mr Chu and he has been given the appropriate security advice,' they said. Mr Chu, a lawyer, became a household name after he spearheaded legal proceedings against the Town Planning Board over the reclamation for the Central-Wan Chai bypass. The society expressed concerns that Victoria Harbour would be transformed into 'Victoria river' if the board were to be allowed to use its own interpretation of the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance. The courts ruled in favour of the society - a decision welcomed by the public. But last week, Mr Chu returned to the courtroom after the planning board launched a last-ditch effort to overturn the ruling. Mr Chu, who now describes himself as the society's consultant, sat beside his successor, Ms Loh, for a few hours during the Court of Final Appeal hearing. Mr Chu also said that despite taking a low profile in the battle, he had vowed 'not to give up'. As part of its lobbying efforts, the society recently released a plan for a Central-Wan Chai reclamation reduced from 52 hectares to 25 while retaining the Central to Wan Chai bypass to ease traffic congestion. The need for construction of the bypass has been a key part of the government's argument in favour of its reclamation plan.