Mainland Chinese students of the Lingnan University have been found to have been campaigning for District Council election candidate Junius Ho Kwan-yiu, an act that may have broken immigration regulations.

While handing out pamphlets for Ho on Thursday morning in the Lok Tsui constituency in Tuen Mun, the three students were approached by a reporter from Passion Times.

Passion Times is a media branch of political group Civic Passion, which supports candidate Cheng Chung-tai of the group, who is running in the constituency contesting Ho.

Junius Ho Kwan-yiu. File Photo: Stand News/RTHK screen capture.

Council member

One of the students told the reporter in Mandarin that they were mainland students from Lingnan University studying business administration.

When asked why they were campaigning for Ho, the student replied it was because he was a governing council member of the school. Junius Ho was appointed to the council of the Lingnan University in October.

The student added that they had been in Hong Kong for three months.

According to immigration regulations, however, a non-local Hong Kong university student shall not undertake any employment, whether paid or unpaid, unless approved by the director of immigration.

However, a non-local university student whose study period is not less than one academic year may take up an internship related to their study or curriculum, which must be arranged or endorsed by the institutions they are studying in.

猛片直擊【何君堯搵嶺大大陸生助選涉以權謀私 大陸生:來撐場因何是嶺大校董】今屆區議會選舉,將於周日(11月22日)進行投票,而各地區候選人皆積極落區拉票,屯門樂翠區候選人、前律師會會長何君堯,今早(11月19日)除找來政協藝人陳小春撐場外,更有幾名嶺南大學學生現身助選,幫手派發傳單。因身為嶺大校董的何君堯,早前出席一個嶺大論壇時,因不滿學生以粗口發問,掟咪拍枱離場,引來不少嶺大學生不滿,故本報記者隨即向該幾名學生查問,是否受到何之邀請前來助選,原來幾名學生皆為來港不足三個月的嶺大大陸生。當被問到為何前來撐何君堯時,有學生表示,因為何君堯為其校董。#何君堯 #嶺大校董 #大陸生 #區議會選舉相關報道︰

Posted by PassionTimes 熱血時報 on Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Here for a celebrity

Cheng Chung-tai told Passion Times that he has filed a complaint with the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) alleging that Ho has broken the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance.

Cheng said Ho was abusing his power and using his status as a council member to recruit students to campaign for him.

In response, Ho said he and his team did not arrange the students to become volunteers.

“I did not know the three Lingnan University students were coming to the promotion stand before it happened. As I understand, they knew from their friend that the actor Jordan Chan was here today [Thursday] to campaign for me, so they especially came to visit the celebrity and support me.”

Ho denied using his council member status to recruit students to campaign for him, and he deeply regretted Cheng’s “reckless and untrue” speech.

He added that he would file a complaint to the EAC and he reserved the right to take legal action.

The mainland Chinese person (middle with vest) campaigning for Junius Ho (right).

Mainland volunteer

Last week, a mainland Chinese volunteer for Junius Ho was taken away for investigation by the Immigration Department for allegedly breaking immigration regulations. The volunteer was later released as the department confirmed he did not break any laws.

Ho told Stand News that all his volunteers were arranged by his friends or friendly organisations and that he never participated in the recruitment process.

He said that the related volunteer was introduced to him by the Federation of Hong Kong Guangxi Community Organisations, and he said he cannot refuse others’ help. He added that volunteers do not take any monetary rewards.

Albert Ho Chun-yan, Cheung Wing-wai, Shum Kam-tim and Yuen Wai-chung are the other candidates in the constituency.

The district council election takes place on November 22.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.