Former HK leader Leung Chun-ying calls for boycott of Confederation of Trade Unions’ fundraiser, accusing group of ‘inciting’ Monday’s citywide strike

08-Aug-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Former Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying has appealed for a pro-democracy labour rights body’s fundraiser to be boycotted, accusing the group of “inciting” Monday’s citywide strike.

Leung, now a vice-chair of China’s top political advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, posted a message on his official Facebook page on Tuesday, calling on people to snub Wednesday’s flag day held by the Confederation of Trade Unions.

A flag day is a government-approved event for non-profit groups to collect money on the streets, usually in return for stickers.

Leung’s message read: “The [confederation] incited employees to go on strike for political purposes, breaking Hongkongers’ rice bowl. Please boycott. Please spread [the message].”

The confederation, a key supporter of the strike, estimated about 350,000 residents took part. It was part of a broader anti-government campaign initially triggered by the now-shelved extradition bill.

The strike followed an earlier protest on Monday that sabotaged Hong Kong’s transport infrastructure, clogging up traffic, causing flight cancellations and bringing most of the city’s MTR network to a standstill. The day ended with violent clashes between police and protesters across the city.

Carol Ng Man-yee, the confederation’s chairwoman, rejected Leung’s accusations, saying Hongkongers “cannot be incited” to go on strike.

“I would like to thank Leung for his care about the [confederation]. I hope he can donate to us too,” she said. “But we had explained quite clearly that employees would not be protected by law if they took part in the political strike. In the past week, some young people went to MTR stations urging people to go on strike. So no one can be said to have been incited by us to take part.”

Ng said the strike was initiated by online users.

“They wanted the confederation to support them and as a progressive and independent labour union, how could we turn them down?” she said.

Ng added she was a bit worried about their volunteers’ safety, as well as the amount of money that could be raised, after Leung’s boycott call.

“Our volunteers will not force you to do anything. If you don’t agree with our cause, just ignore us,” she said. “But who knows, if more people donate after Leung’s call, we can only thank him again.”

Ng added that funds raised at Wednesday’s event would be used at two agencies under the confederation; an education fund to support unemployed workers and a food bank for people in poverty.

The confederation’s flag day will take place from 7am to 12.30pm on Wednesday, in various parts of Kowloon.

Two other organisations are planning a flag day on the same day; the Taishan Charitable Association on Hong Kong Island and Wai Ji Christian Service in the New Territories.


Category: Hong Kong

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