A bitter verbal feud between former Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying and his critics has taken a significantly personal turn in a public forum, with an anti-Beijing newspaper publishing a full front page advertisement on Monday to ridicule him. Leung remained defiant and combative after political activist Avery Ng Man-yuen, fresh from his acquittal on appeal last month of throwing a tuna sandwich at the former chief executive, took out the advertisement in the Chinese-language Apple Daily, offering him a one-way flight ticket to Beijing and challenging him to take over as China’s leader. Leung, who now enjoys the status of an elder statesman as a vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the nation’s top advisory body, has engaged in an open spat with the activist as well as the newspaper, particularly over its commentaries on mainland Chinese people and a pro-Beijing politician who died last month. He has recently urged consumers to boycott the newspaper’s advertisers and posted a list of them almost every day on his Facebook page, prompting the Hong Kong Journalists Association to express “deep concern” about the impact on the companies behind the advertisements. Ng upped the ante by announcing a crowd funding campaign last Tuesday to raise HK$120,000 for the advertisement space, surpassing his goal less than a day later. Former Hong Kong leader CY Leung rejects judge’s suggestion of being ‘accommodated’ in sandwich assault case By Thursday nearly 1,000 people had donated a total of HK$167,000, some HK$110,000 of which would be spent on the advertisement and another HK$23,000 on a similar online version. The balance would be kept for a follow-up advertisement, Ng said. Leung responded on his Facebook page on Monday by “thanking” Ng for spreading his message, and going on to accuse the newspaper of running “cold-blooded” articles, particularly a recent piece mocking Peter Wong Man-kong after the veteran politician’s death. “You can find a lot of examples of advertisers boycotting the media in democratic countries in the West,” Leung wrote. Ng’s full-page advertisement would only increase awareness among Hongkongers of Apple Daily’ s unfair reporting, he added. “I urge Ng to continue with his campaign,” he wrote. “Next time it will be best if he runs an ad in English.” Activist applies for judicial review of Hong Kong justice minister’s decision not to prosecute CY Leung The advertisement came with the note: “Sponsored by Hong Kong People’s Patience Limited.” That prompted Leung, in a separate Facebook post, to challenge Ng and Apple Daily to clarify if the company even existed, arguing that it would be against the law to feature a firm that was not registered. It is a criminal offence for anyone not incorporated with limited liability to use, trade or carry on business under the name or title of a limited company. Ng declined to comment on whether the company was for real or whether he would accept Leung’s challenge and run the next advertisement in English. “I reserve the right to respond with any means. But if Leung is taking the ad seriously, he should also respond to people’s discontent over his interference with Hong Kong’s freedom of the press,” Ng said. The activist was previously jailed for throwing a sandwich in Leung’s direction during a protest in 2016, but won an appeal against his conviction last month. The Department of Justice is appealing against the ruling.