Legislator Lee Cheuk-yan was punched in the face and had a banana shoved at his mouth on a street in Tuen Mun yesterday in an attack condemned by the government and lawmakers. The unionist was collecting signatures in support of the introduction of old age pensions when a middle-aged man walked up to the table he was sitting at, wrote down his ID number and next to it the name of 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung, then began turning over the tables and throwing papers on the floor. He began hitting union staff and bystanders with his walking stick, then struck Mr Lee and tried to feed him a banana, Mr Lee said. Mr Lee, 51, general secretary of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, and an aide were taken to Tuen Mun Hospital with minor facial injuries. Both were discharged after treatment. Police arrested a 58-year-old man in connection with the incident. Mr Lee said he had not been threatened recently, did not know the attacker and had no idea why he had assaulted him. It is the first time the pan-democrat has been subjected to physical attack since he became a legislator in the mid-1990s. 'Violence can never he accepted whatever our differences,' he said. 'We should solve problems through rational discussions.' Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen said he hoped that the legislator would quickly recover from the attack. He said no one should resort to violence to express their views. Legislative Council president Tsang Yok-sing echoed Mr Tang's remarks, saying: 'There has been no violence in Legco despite the differences of opinion. Society should not accept violent acts.' Lau Kong-wah, a vice-chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, urged the police to investigate the case and hoped people could respect others who held opinions that differed from theirs. A government spokesman said Hong Kong was peaceful and lawful and violent acts were not acceptable. In 2006, Democrat lawmaker Albert Ho Chun-yan was attacked in a fast-food restaurant by three men wearing masks. He was beaten with baseball bats and batons and suffered injuries to his head, an arm and face, including a broken nose. League of Social Democrats chairman Wong Yuk-man hurled a bunch of bananas across the Legislative Council chamber 11 days ago while Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen was giving his policy address.