Hong Kong localism and independence

Core member of Hong Kong pro-democracy party Demosisto resigns after finance rules violation

Derek Lam says on Facebook that he owes the group, co-founded by activist Joshua Wong, ‘too many apologies’

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 November, 2017, 8:08pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 November, 2017, 8:29pm

Hong Kong’s youngest political party Demosisto, co-founded by student activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung, removed a core member from its standing committee on Thursday after he was found to have violated the group’s financial rules.

Derek Lam Shun-hin, 24, also resigned from the party, which approved his application to withdraw from membership. No specific reason was revealed regarding Lam’s decision to quit.

Demosisto was founded last year with Wong and disqualified lawmaker Nathan Law Kwun-chung as its leaders.

Hong Kong activists arrested over protest against Basic Law interpretation by Beijing

Lam was one of the eight standing committee members of the party and viewed as a core member after Law, the chairman, and Wong, its secretary general, were jailed in August over an unlawful assembly in the lead-up to the 2014 Occupy movement.

Law and Wong are now out on bail to appeal.

In a short statement posted on its Facebook page on Thursday afternoon, Demosisto said Lam had violated party rules on financial matters. But the party said it did not suffer any financial losses.

“After an internal investigation, the party found Lam had violated the conduct for party members and removed Lam from his duty as a standing committee member immediately,” the statement said.

It added that Lam then applied to quit the party and the move was approved.

“From now on, Derek Lam Shun-hin is no longer a member of Demosisto and his acts have nothing to do with the organisation,” the party said without elaborating on what Lam had done.

Sharing the statement on his own Facebook page, Lam said he owed the party “too many apologies and thanks”.

“No matter what, today is the beginning of a new journey,” he wrote.

The theology student from Chinese University could not be reached for comment.

Lam had been a long-time ally to Wong since the movement against national education in 2012.

After visiting New York with Wong in August this year, he wrote an article for The New York Times titled “I won’t make Jesus bow down to Xi Jinping”, which earned him foreign attention.

Lam was charged over the Mong Kok clashes last year but walked free after prosecutors cited lack of evidence and withdrew the charge of rioting.

He was also arrested after a protest against Beijing’s interpretation of the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, last November and was charged with incitement to behave in a disorderly manner in a public place.

The hearing of the case is scheduled for January.