HK teen who crashed anti-Lantau Tomorrow Vision forum sentenced to community service

21-Sep-2021 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 5:02 AM Print This Post

A university student has been spared jail for disrupting a 2018 Hong Kong forum held to express opposition to a government plan to build huge settlements on artificial islands off Lantau Island.

Chinese University undergraduate Hui Ka-kin was given a 160-hour community service order in Eastern Court on Monday, three weeks after pleading guilty to taking part in an unlawful assembly outside the government’s Tamar headquarters on October 14, 2018.

The 19-year-old was among eight masked protesters who crashed the meeting held by the Save Lantau Alliance, which had organised a march earlier that day against the proposed HK$624 billion Lantau Tomorrow Vision scheme, which aims to build 1,000 hectares of man-made land in waters east of the island.

The court heard that at about 7.20pm, the eight surrounded then opposition lawmaker Edward Yiu Chung-yim, a speaker at the forum, with some attempting to snatch the microphone from him.

One of the protesters, who remained unidentified, later took the microphone and criticised the forum participants for taking no “substantial actions” to stop the massive land-reclamation project from happening. The unnamed protester also called for support for the Students’ Independence Union, a now-disbanded pro-independence group.

Clerk Chow Ka-wah, 28, and City University student Wong Ka-ho, 21, were arrested at the scene. Hui, who was 16 at the time, was picked up at his residence in May the following year.

Under caution, Hui admitted the offence and said his role was to prevent other forum participants from approaching his comrades so they could steal the microphone from Yiu.

In a mitigation hearing last month, Hui’s counsel said the protesters were unhappy they were not given a chance to speak at the forum, having waited for their turn for over two hours.

A community service assessment report returned favourable comments on Monday, with a probation officer saying a medium level of unpaid community work was appropriate for the defendant.

That recommendation was accepted by Magistrate Peony Wong Nga-yan, who found Hui remorseful and his role in the offence minor.

Wong was jailed for three weeks in July after admitting to taking part in an unlawful assembly and common assault in the same incident. Chow, who denied the unlawful assembly charge, will stand trial next month.

The Lantau Tomorrow Vision has been a contentious issue since it was tabled by city leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor in 2018, with critics concerned about overspending and environmental impacts.

Last year, Legco approved a HK$550 million funding request to conduct feasibility studies for the megaproject by a majority vote of 33-2. That vote came after 15 opposition lawmakers resigned en masse in protest of the disqualification of four legislators previously barred from running for re-election.


Category: Hong Kong

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