Another pro-democracy Legislative Council election candidate has said his pamphlets were banned from being distributed at public housing estates by the Housing Department as they contained the phrase “Hong Kong independence.”

Avery Ng Man-yuen, the League of Social Democrats chairman who is running in Kowloon West constituency, condemned the department’s decision outside its headquarters in Ho Man Tin on Wednesday: “Shame on political censorship, it is interfering with the fairness of the election.”

Ng said the department originally agreed the pamphlets on August 11. After they were printed, his volunteers started distributing them to residents.

Avery Ng
Avery Ng. Photo: League of Social Democrats.

“But on August 16 morning, Kai Ching Estate’s management office called to say the pamphlets’ approval was retracted, because pamphlets mentioned ‘self-determination’ and ‘Hong Kong independence’,” Ng said.

After that, Ng said other estates other than Kai Ching Estate also refused to allow their material to be distributed. He added that his group was unable to distribute around 40,000 pamphlets.

Ng’s pamphlets did not advocate independence, but he said he agreed that “self-determination should include the option of independence” and he proposed “amending the constitution to redefine the relationship between Hong Kong and China to implement true autonomous rule.”

They mentioned that one of his opponents, Youngspiration’s Yau Wai-ching, supports the “promotion of Hong Kong nationalism ideas and self-determination.”

Avery Ng
A page of Avery Ng’s pamphlets with the phrase “Hong Kong independence.” Photo: Avery Ng.

It came after a similar case relating to Kowloon East constituency candidate Chan Chak-to, who said his pamphlets were banned by the Housing Department from public housing estates because they contained the word “independence” earlier this month.

A reply to HKFP from the Housing Department said that the “Housing Department considered that the contents of one election advertisement submitted by Mr. Chan Chak-to may be not in line with our policy that publicity materials must not carry any message that are unlawful.”

“After seeking legal advice, we decided to reject this application,” it added.

The full list of candidates running across districts and constituencies can be viewed here.

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.