Protesters rallied at the funeral of a prominent pro-Beijing activist who orchestrated a series of bomb attacks in the 1960s that killed 15 people.

Yeung Kwong, a trade unionist who led the 1967 Leftist riots against British colonial rule, died at the Prince of Wales hospital in Sha Tin last month following a heart operation.

Yeung Kwong funeral
Protestors at the funeral of a pro-Beijing activist Yeung Kwong carry placards with the face of a prominent journalist who was killed in an attack believed to have been orchestrated by Yeung during the 1967 leftist riots. Photo: SocRec.

The funeral, which was held at a funeral home in Hung Hom, was attended by Chief Executive CY Leung and other senior officials including the Director of Beijing’s Liaison Office Zhang Xiaoming and the Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung.

More than a hundred people attended the march which was organised by a group called Loving Hung Hom. A Facebook post on the group’s website urged Hong Kongers not to forget the 1967 riots and the “criminals” behind the attacks and accused the Government of pretending the riots did not happen.

Yeung’s involvement with the riots remains controversial to this day with some Hong Kongers urging officials to condemn him.

The group marched from Hung Hom station to the funeral home where they waited outside to greet guests as they left. Protestors from localist groups such as Civic Passion and Hong Kong Indigenous also attended the rally.

Out of the 50 people who died in the 1967 riots, 15 died as a result of the explosive attacks planted by leftist activists and a further 800 were injured. One of the victims included journalist Lam Bun, a critic of the protests who was doused in oil and set alight by men who disguised themselves as maintenance workers.

A leftist group claimed responsibility for Lam’s murder, however it is not clear if Yeung himself ordered the attack.

Yeung served as chair and later president of the largest pro-Beijing labour union in Hong Kong, the Federation of Trade unions, from 1962 to 1988. He was also a local deputy to the National People’s Congress.

During the 1967 riots, Yeung served as director of the Hong Kong and Kowloon Committee for Anti-Hong Kong British Persecution Struggle.

In 2001 Yeung was awarded the Grand Bauhinia medal, the highest honour in Hong Kong, for his contribution to the labour movement by the then chief executive Tung Chee-hwa.

Vicky is a British-born Chinese journalist with three years of experience covering UK politics. She previously worked for PoliticsHome and has interned at Sky News and CNN International. She also co-produced and filmed a documentary about the Hong Kong protests for MSNBC, which won the grand student prize at the 2015 Human Rights Press Awards. She has a BA in Politics and International Relations from the University of Reading and moved to Hong Kong in 2014 to complete a journalism masters at the University of Hong Kong.