A suicidal man was persuaded to step back from a ledge on Tsing Ma Bridge yesterday after a nine-hour standoff with police and firemen - after being promised he could talk to legislator Lee Cheuk-yan. The 52-year-old unemployed man, who was arrested about three months ago for allegedly working as a pimp, told police he hoped Mr Lee could help him to find a job. The man, carrying a can of beer, flagged down a taxi in Bute Street, Mongkok, at about 12.30am and asked to be taken to Chek Lap Kok airport. When travelling along Tsing Ma Bridge, the man asked the driver to slow down. 'The driver was forced to stop when the man opened the door and threatened to jump out,' a police officer said. 'As the cab pulled over, he jumped out, climbed over a 1.5-metre fence, sat on the ledge and threatened to jump.' The man tossed back a note asking the driver to call his mainland wife to tell her he was going to commit suicide. The note included the name of his wife and her contact number. The driver, 60, then called police. As police and firemen arrived, the man was drinking beer on the metre-wide ledge. A team of police negotiators led by Chief Inspector Lee Tak-yu was called in when he refused to return to safety. Two Marine Police launches and two fireboats were also despatched. Police closed one of the three airport-bound lanes during negotiations but traffic was not affected. 'Officers gave him a rope to grab and the other end of the rope was tied to the railings,' an officer said. During the standoff, the man asked for water, food and cigarettes. It is understood he was given a piece of cake, three cigarettes and a bottle of water. He also asked to borrow $10,000 from police. The standoff ended at about 10am when he was told a meeting with Mr Lee had been arranged, police said. The man was taken to hospital and discharged after a check-up. He met Mr Lee at his Yau Ma Tei office at about 3pm, telling him he was caught in a dilemma over the outstanding police case.