My Take

Salute Eddie Chu on his quest to rid New Territories of corruption

Dysfunctional development and lawlessness have plagued the New Territories for decades, ruining the countryside for everyone in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 September, 2016, 2:52am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 September, 2016, 2:52am

Eddie Chu Hoi-dick may be the most important elected lawmaker to enter the legislative chamber in a generation. Maybe he is a separatist, maybe not. Localists who sloganeer about independence or shredding the Basic Law are a dime a dozen. But Chu has bigger and more dangerous fish to fry.

As a founder of the Land Justice League, he is about to take on powerful vested interests that have profited mightily from the dysfunctional development and lawlessness plaguing the New Territories for decades and ruining the countryside at the expense of everyone in Hong Kong.

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“I wanted to bring up the serious corruption problems in the New Territories in Legco debates,” said the New Territories West candidate, who secured more votes than anyone in the geographic polls.

“On the collusion between the government, businesses, rural forces and the triads, there are things only I myself know. These are issues that I know much about; other Legco candidates don’t know and can’t bring them up.

“Don’t be afraid of the dark forces. We must stand up.”

Bravo, Eddie. It’s about time someone has the guts to take on this dangerous mission.

If you wonder why officials are eyeing development in Lantau or in or near country parks while most of the New Territories are underdeveloped, or why the government quietly scrapped a plan to build public housing at a site in Yuen Long, Chu will have the answers.

He has threatened to make reforming the powerful rural affairs body Heung Yee Kuk a top priority “because its influence in New Territories’ developments affected everyone in Hong Kong.”

He has also warned of the shadow of “assassination” and “intimidation” over local politics.

“Not only myself, [but] my family have also been, and will be, facing a storm of political violence,” he said.

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Most of us urbanites may think he is exaggerating. But if you live in a rural village like Chu does with his young family, it’s hardly exaggerated. He is about to kick the hornet’s nest, but he cannot win this fight alone. Already he has been followed and threatened.

Show me a hero, wrote F Scott Fitzgerald, and I will write you a tragedy. For land justice and the public interest, let’s make sure this doesn’t end in tragedy for Chu and his family.