Imagine a former government administrative officer joining a political party that throws bananas and shouts offensive words at his old bosses. Is that possible? Gavin Kwai Sze-kit, 34, is now a member of the radical League of Social Democrats, four years after he quit his civil service career. First known as the 'MTR arson case hero' in 2004, he came into the spotlight again when he declared his candidacy in the Wan Chai District Council by-election in May. He was defeated in the June poll. 'I was very different from other civil servants. I knew I was not good in the system, and people around me would not be happy having me there.' At the time he gained fame, he was an assistant secretary for the former Economic Development and Labour Bureau. The then-official was praised for trying to stop an arsonist who started a fire on an MTR train, alerting passengers so they could escape. The hero became the odd one out after refusing to accept an award from then chief executive Tung Chee-hwa in honour of his brave act. He said the prize should be given to someone with a long community service record instead. 'I was not trying to undermine the government's authority ... But I knew I wouldn't get a promotion afterwards.' It was not the first time he had challenged authority. As a university graduate seeking an administrative officer position in 1998, he had a quarrel with his interviewers. Mr Kwai recalled that he was not allowed enough time to speak because his interviewers had a lunch appointment. 'I said: 'If you guys are rushing for lunch, I have nothing to add'.' The abrupt criticism failed him the interview, he said. The next year he went through the recruitment process again and got the job. But over the six years of his tenure, Mr Kwai found he could not push forward the reforms he wanted. He was most frustrated that his proposal to amend domestic violence laws was not accepted when he was with the former Health, Welfare and Food Bureau. After leaving the government in 2005, he started training as a barrister, and he is now the general manager of a financial leasing company. His political career was as complicated as his employment. After quitting the government, he briefly volunteered as a legal adviser for the Savantas Policy Institute, but stopped after realising that he had a 'different style and beliefs' from its chairwoman, Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee. Having once sought to join the pan-democratic Civic Party, he was also approached by the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong and had also offered to introduce two prospective members to it. Such a history brought queries about his political loyalty from some members of the pan-democratic camp and the media. In fact, his decision to join the league last year was quite a surprise to onlookers. Mr Kwai said the doubts over his stance were due to misunderstandings. He explained that his participation in the league was inspired by its deputy chairman Andrew To Kwan-hang's fight for democracy. 'It was because of Andrew. He has been a hero to me since I was a secondary school student.' Since joining the party, Mr Kwai has taken a public role in the campaign against the government's raising of tobacco duty. Mr Kwai said it was too early to decide whether he would pursue a Legislative Council seat, but there was one thing he felt certain of - he would never hurl bananas or shout offensive words in the Legco chamber, although he supported such actions by his colleagues. 'When the system is not making sense, how can you ask people to act sensibly?' He described his working style as analytical. 'I consider myself a middle class professional. My fellow league members and I are on the same front on major issues like the fight for democracy. But on economic policies I do not share the same stance with them.' The once maverick civil servant said he now argued with his league colleagues whenever they discussed economic issues at a meeting.