Mainland authorities have allegedly contacted citizens with relatives living in Hong Kong, urging them to convince their family members to support pro-Beijing candidates in Sunday’s Legislative Council election, Apple Daily reported on Monday.

The report quoted a Hong Kong citizen as saying that his mainland relatives in Dongguan city were contacted by the United Front Work Department – an agency of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. The officials reportedly carried detailed personal information, such as telephone numbers and the home address of his father-in-law and mother-in-law, who both moved to Hong Kong from Dongguan 30 years ago.

The 5th Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee. Photo:

It also claimed that the officials provided details of their supported lists and the arrangements on vote allocations for the election. They were also said to have offered gifts to his family members living in the mainland in exchange for his father-in-law and mother-in-law voting for their preferred choice.

Cash ‘incentive’

The newspaper also revealed on Monday that martial arts teachers of a pro-Beijing association were seen asking their students to collect the personal information of their relatives who are registered voters. It was also reported that students could receive HK$500 in cash and a box of mooncakes in exchange of providing the information of each registered voter.

In an audio recording obtained by the paper, the teacher also allegedly said the data collection is used to support Holden Chow Ho-ding, vice-chairman of the pro-Beijing DAB Party, as well as Eunice Yung Hoi-yan, member of the pro-Beijing New People’s Party, who are both running in this election.

Holden Chow. File Photo: Stand News.

Chow, who is running in the District Council (second) functional constituency responded by saying that he had not heard of the news and encouraged those who knew the inside story to report to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and the Registration and Electoral Office.

According to the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance, any person who engages in illegal conduct during an election will be liable to a fine of HK$50,000 and one year imprisonment.

The 2016 Legislative Council election is scheduled to be held on September 4. The full list of candidates running across districts and constituencies can be viewed here.

Eric Cheung

Eric is currently a Bachelor of Journalism student at the University of Hong Kong. Eric has his finger on the pulse of Hong Kong events and politics. His work has been published on The Guardian, Reuters and ABC News (America).