Spotlight: Hong Kong residents stand with stabbed candidate in calling for peaceful, fair election

Xinhua News Agency | Nov 10, 2019 at 1:48 PM

HONG KONG, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- When Junius Ho reappeared at his street stand for election campaign on Sunday morning, many Hong Kong residents gathered to cheer him on. The candidate of Hong Kong's upcoming district council election was attacked and stabbed during campaigning days ago.

Gathering around Ho's street stand on Sunday, dozens of people chanted slogans in support of him, and held banners calling for stopping violence and restoring peace in Hong Kong.

Ho, a member of the Legislative Council (LegCo) of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), was stabbed in the chest by a male with a knife in Tuen Mun district on Wednesday morning when he was campaigning for re-election in the district council. Two of his colleagues also sustained injuries in the attack.

Two days after being discharged from hospital, Ho returned to his street stand on Sunday, telling his supporters that he would not be intimidated by the violent attack and would continue to serve the community.

Curbing violence and chaos is the top priority for Hong Kong at the moment, he said, pledging to stand out and take actions in this regard.

"I will fight to the end against those who want to mess with Hong Kong," he said, appealing to electors to make a rational choice in the district council election and to make joint efforts to end the current unrest in Hong Kong.

Hailing Ho for his courage to speak up for the community, a Hong Kong resident surnamed Chan said that many people in Hong Kong share an abhorrence of the recent acts of violence and vandalism by rioters as well as a hope for strict law enforcement and restoration of social order.

The knife attack against Ho was not only a life-threatening crime but also blatant election violence, the 23-year-old man said, expressing hope that more people will heed Ho's appeal and jointly bring back stability and prosperity to Hong Kong.

Several black-clad, masked young men tried to disturb Ho's campaign on Sunday, but were driven away by his supporters.

Ho is not the only candidate that fell victim to the election violence recently. On the same day when he was stabbed, a member of the Yau Tsim Mong District Council was beaten by violent radicals with sticks.

Over the past weeks, dozens of offices of candidates associated with patriotic political groups were vandalized or set on fire, and many candidates and their supporters were facing risks of harassment by black-clad rioters.

Various political groups in Hong Kong have warned that the spate of violence against patriotic candidates shows that the "black terror" arising in Hong Kong's five-month unrest has spread to the district council election, scheduled on Nov. 24.

The knife attack against Ho has raised concerns about the safety of patriotic candidates, as well as the fairness of the election, Stanley Ng, president of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, the largest trade union in Hong Kong, told Xinhua on Sunday.

The violence has deprived many patriotic candidates of opportunities for campaigning, Ng said.

He called for effective measures to ensure a peaceful and fair district council election, and appealed to the electors to vote for those who aim to serve the community rather than those who run for the seats with ulterior political purposes.

Ng's view was echoed by many Hong Kong residents. A resident in the Tuen Mun district surnamed Ho told Xinhua on Sunday that she hopes the electors can tell which candidates are genuinely serving the community and cast the right vote.

Another resident surnamed Wong said she hopes more people will vote for those who love the country and Hong Kong and draw a clear line with violence. "Only in this way can Hong Kong have a better future," she said.