A press conference in which an alleged former triad boss planned to talk about a meeting with Leung Chun-ying’s aides in 2012, before he was elected Chief Executive, was cancelled at the last minute, although he was apparently still “well” and “free”. The man, Kwok Wing-hung, nicknamed “Shanghai Boy”, was allegedly a former leader of the local triad “Wo Shing Wo”.

Local Chinese newspaper Oriental Daily has published several stories on Kwok over the last week, including a front page story on Tuesday, reporting that Kwok allegedly blackmailed tycoons to pay to avoid having banners containing scandalous stories about them displayed on the streets. The newspaper also reported that Kwok was allegedly involved in a fraud of HK$1.6 billion, in partnership with a retired police senior superintendent.

Kwok Wing-hung.
Kwok Wing-hung. File

Following these stories, Kwok called a press conference at 1pm on Tuesday to counter what he said were recent negative reports about him which were “untrue” and “unfounded”. The press invitation said that he would talk about the relationship with Ma Ching-kwan – publisher of Oriental Daily – which he said would involve “many political figures”.

It also promised that Kwok would talk about “the inside story of the ‘underworld dinner’ during the 2012 Chief Executive election”.

In February 2012, Kwok was reportedly at a dinner in a restaurant at Lau Fau Shan with Leung Chun-ying’s election aides, including Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun, who was the chief of Leung’s election campaign office, two other deputies of the office and Lew Mon-hung – a businessman who supported Leung.

Others at the dinner included several chairmen of New Territories Rural Committees, and a Yuen Long district councillor.

Leung later stated that he did not know Kwok and that Lew was not a member of his election campaign office.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. Photo: Gov HK.
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. Photo: Gov HK.

‘Well and free’

Ben Lam Tsz-pan, a reporter-turned-PR executive whose company was commissioned by Kwok, told reporters minutes before 1pm that the press conference had been cancelled, as he had received a phone call from Kwok about 10 minutes before the event.

“Something came up,” Lam said Kwok told him during the call. He added that Kwok is “well” and “free”.

Lam also said that he received two lawyers’ letters from a courier around 30 minutes before the press conference, that one was for him, and the other one was supposedly for Kwok.

The press conference was cancelled at the last minute. Photo: Soc Rec.
The press conference was cancelled at the last minute. Photo: Soc Rec.

Concern authorities

When asked by reporters whether the Beijing government, the Hong Kong government and the police were concerned about the press conference, Lam said: “In my understanding, a bit.”

Lam also said that he thought Kwok was still in Hong Kong: “I have never heard he will leave Hong Kong [forever].”

Kwok was allegedly attacked last week when he was having afternoon tea at the Peninsula Hotel and his right eyelid was slightly injured. Kwok admitted himself to hospital and told reporters that he hit the corner of a table by accident.

Lam said he did not know if the injury had any relevance to the press conference.

Update 6:45pm: The Hong Kong Journalists Association issued a statement after the press conference that Ben Lam Tsz-pan was an Executive Committee member of the association and has “resigned his duty as the ExCom member of HKJA due to personal reasons on 28 December 2015 with immediate effect”.

“HKJA thanks Mr Lam Tsz Pan for his hard work and service to the association in the past years.” the statement read.

Kris Cheng

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.