Fund to help jailed Hong Kong police officers collects over HK$10 million
National People’s Congress delegate Maria Tam says money came from public donations, including two cheques for HK$1 million each
Over HK$10 million has been donated to a fund set up by political heavyweight Maria Tam Wai-chu to support the families of the seven police officers jailed for two years for beating activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu at the height of the Occupy protests in 2014.
The Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress, who is also the founding president of the Junior Police Officers’ Association, made the announcement in Beijing on Thursday, saying the money came from public donations, including two cheques for HK$1 million each.
“We wanted to help the families, especially the children, as they are the real victims. We wanted them to understand that sometimes [actions] are forgivable. There is someone who feels for them,” Tam said.
It is understood the two big cheques were from the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and the Hong Kong Federation of Women.
At least 92 people donated nearly HK$80,000 through the website set up by the fund on Wednesday.
Tam added the fund had recruited accountants to work out how the donations would be used.
The sentence prompted anger from police officers and their supporters, with some 33,000 serving and former officers staging a demonstration last week to show their support for the seven.
WhatsApp messages are circulating among some police officers that The Friends of Hong Kong Association, mainly formed by delegates to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, donated nearly HK$12 million on Monday.
The messages said that of this total, property developer Sino Group chairman Robert Ng Chee-siong donated HK$7 million, while former police chief Tang King-shing contributed HK$20,000.
The vice-chairman of the Independent Police Complaints Council, Christopher Cheung Wah-fung, reportedly gave HK$50,000.
The move prompted concern from the pan-democrat group, Civil Human Rights Front, that the donation would undermine the image of the police watchdog.