Ma Ying-jeou says he was forced to cancel visit because he failed to get visa Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou said he was stunned yesterday by Hong Kong authorities' claim that he had postponed his trip to the city. Mr Ma said he had been forced to cancel his visit after failing to obtain an entry visa from the Hong Kong government. His response came as the office of Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong reiterated that Mr Lee had been told Mr Ma had postponed his trip and that any visa application would be dealt with later. Mr Ma said he was stunned to learn of Hong Kong's claim. 'All other members of our team have obtained visas, but until late on Monday, I still had not received mine, and so I had to reschedule my visiting plan.' The popular mayor and possible Taiwanese presidential candidate had planned to visit Hong Kong to deliver two lectures at the University of Hong Kong and attend a seminar on culture and city management. He also had been invited to give a speech at the annual meeting of the Committee of 100, a group of Chinese-Americans. Hong Kong officials yesterday declined to comment further, but stood by what the security chief had said. Mr Lee's press secretary stressed that the government would not comment on individual visa applications. He would not clarify whether a visa application from Mr Ma had been received. 'We notice that Mr Ma has postponed his trip to Hong Kong. We will deal with the application later,' he said, echoing Mr Lee's comments on Monday. Mr Lee also said on Monday that Mr Ma was not on any blacklist and that there had been no behind-the-scenes meddling. Initial speculation was that the visa had been refused because of Mr Ma's public opposition to Beijing's planned anti-secession law. But observers said later it could have been because his attendance at the Committee of 100 meeting - also with former US defence secretary William Perry and mainland officials - could imply Beijing's tolerance of Taiwan's separate status. At a lunch for a Committee of 100 delegation in Taipei yesterday, Mr Ma apologised for not being able to attend the Hong Kong meeting, which starts with a gala reception attended by Chief But 'as you are visiting Taiwan, I can seize the opportunity of meeting you here', he said. Mr Ma said his planned trip to Hong Kong was not an official visit, but the visa controversy had become a media focus. Even the US consulate in Hong Kong was concerned about the issue, he said. Mr Ma will fly to Australia tomorrow and to Thailand next Tuesday before returning to Taiwan the next day.