Mong Kok riot brings new twist to Legislative Council by-election

By Ben Pang

An associate professor says the clash will affect this month's vote

By Ben Pang |

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The Mong Kok riot could affect more than just fishballs.

A Chinese University political scientist told Young Post yesterday that the Mong Kok riot will bring a new twist to the Legislative Council by-election this month.

Speaking to Young Post yesterday, Chinese University’s Department of Government and Public Administration associate professor, Ma Ngok, believed Hong Kong Indigenous candidate Edward Leung Tin-kei will gain more support from voters who support their radical political philosophies.

“The riot has helped Leung as many people know more about him. He will gain support from the radical localist base. Other moderate voters will also sympathise with him in the election,” says Ma. Leung was charged with rioting after being accused of taking part in the riot.

Barrister and Civic Party candidate Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu agrees. “The clash between the police and the protesters in Mong Kok has triggered emotions. Now more people with radical and moderate views will sympathise with Leung and vote for him. We’ll be fighting for votes in the election,” says Yeung, who provided legal assistance to protesters.

Holden Chow Ho-ding, vice-chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, declined to comment on how the riot might affect the by-election, only saying it was important at this stage to show concern for police officers. He uploaded a video to his Facebook profile on Sunday stating how Mong Kok riot has a bad impact on young people. The video had more than 81,000 views as of yesterday.

Speaking to Young Post, he questioned why Yeung had offered legal aid to rioters. “Yeung’s assistance showed that he supported what the rioters did. This sets a bad example to the public,” says Chow.

The by-election, triggered by the resignation of Ronny Tong Ka-wah of the Civic Party from his Legco seat for New Territories East last year, will take place on February 28 with seven candidates vying for a win.

The geographical constituency of New Territories East covers the districts of Sha Tin, Tai Po, North district and Sai Kung and contains around 940,000 voters.