Legislative Council elections 2016

Afraid to go home since election day, ‘king of votes’ Eddie Chu gets round-the-clock police protection over death threat

Newly elected lawmaker says he has been living in fear since he bagged 84,121 votes in New Territories West

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 September, 2016, 2:25pm
UPDATED : Friday, 09 September, 2016, 2:06pm

Police on Thursday placed the biggest winner in Sunday’s Legislative Council elections under round-the-clock protection after he complained of “imminent” death threats against him and his family in the past few days.

Eddie Chu Hoi-dick confirmed on Thursday night that he was staying at a secret location he had arranged for himself and was under constant police watch. His daughter had also stopped going to school as a precaution, he said.

The threats against Chu, a long-time environmental activist, could be linked to people he might have upset while campaigning on issues such as changes in land use in the New Territories and an illegal dumping case in Tin Shui Wai, according to sources.

With his lawyer and two other newly elected localists, Lau Siu-lai and Nathan Law Kwun-chung, Chu made a report on Thursday at police headquarters in Wan Chai.

“I have faced threats against myself and my family since I announced my bid for Legco,” he told the media. “They have escalated into an imminent death threat since I was elected.”

Chu, 38, complained he and his family were unable to return home because of the threat.

The winner of the highest number of votes in the geographical constituencies said he had sent a letter to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo Wai-chung requesting assistance.

“I will protect my freedom to express my political view,” he said. “I will not succumb, and I will honour all my promises to my voters.” But he refrained from disclosing the details of the threat.

The Security Bureau issued a statement quoting its chief, Lai Tung-kwok, who said he was concerned and attached great importance to the case.

“The government will not tolerate any illegal acts that pose threats against personal safety,” the bureau said.

A police spokesman said the department would provide appropriate measures according to the family’s needs. The case is classified as a request for investigation.

A source with knowledge of the case told the Post armed officers from the force’s witness protection unit and detectives with expertise would protect them.

Another source said the threat could be linked to his environmental and social activism. Chu is widely known for taking on the Heung Yee Kuk over the powerful rural body’s land rights.

Watch: Exclusive chat with Eddie Chu after his surprise election win

On Monday, after his victory, Chu revealed that he had in May received a phone call from a village head, who passed a message to him urging him to stop digging into the case concerning a brownfield site at Wang Chau in Yuen Long, where the government had abandoned a public housing project due to opposition from the landlords.

Tsang Shu-wo, chairman of the Ping Shan Rural Committee who controlled part of the Wang Chau site, told the Post he had nothing to do with the threat.

“[Chu] has many enemies ... Death threats? Unless he takes poison himself,” he said.

Pro-Beijing lawmaker Leung Che-cheung, whom Chu earlier accused of “harbouring” Tsang over the case, said he would not comment because he had lodged a complaint to graft-busters over Chu’s remarks.

“All I do is legal deeds,” he said.