Pro-Beijing Liberal Party member Ken Chow Wing-kan has returned to Hong Kong to meet with the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), after he dropped out of Sunday’s election due to threats.

He flew to the UK after claiming there were threats made against him and those close to him if he did not suspend his campaign. He only returned to the city on Monday, when voting had ended. But he said he expected the agency will unlikely be able to investigate the case as it involved factors outside of Hong Kong.

“Those are mainland Chinese powers – I’d be happy if the ICAC can go there and arrest someone, but they will not be able to investigate,” he told news site HK01.

Ken Chow
Ken Chow in the UK. Photo: Facebook.

Chow previously claimed he was offered money amounting to double of his election spending and a government position in return of not running, though he refused.

In a two-hour meeting with the ICAC, he said he told the agency: “About someone who tried to persuade me not to run; and after I was nominated to run… I was asked to not put effort into the campaign; and finally I was asked to drop out.”

But Chow did not reveal any names to the agency, saying that it may bring forth further trouble.

The Commercial Radio cited Chow as saying that the ICAC staff member that spoke to him gave him a wry smile, when he if the agency could enforce the law when the incidents involved a person from the mainland or happened on the mainland.

Chow also said many supporters of his were concerned about his drop out, as some were disappointed and some did not understand what had happened.

Junius Ho Kwan-yiu
Junius Ho Kwan-yiu. Photo: Facebook.

Soon after he announced that he was halting campaigning at an election forum on August 25, recordings from a volunteer of his rival – pro-Beijing candidate Junius Ho Kwan-yiu – were revealed. They made reference to deploying 20 to 30 people to “pressure” Chow during the forum, although the action did not occur.

Chow previously accused Ho of lying to the indigenous people community, claiming that Ho was not an indigenous person himself.

Ho denied the claims, and accused Chow of failing to produce the document that can prove his claim. Ho was the former chairman of the Tuen Mun Rural Committee, a body of the indigenous community.

Chow also accused Ho of being supported by the China Liaison Office, the official organ of Beijing in Hong Kong, as one of his campaign promotion materials read that Hong Kong people must reject control by the office.

Junius Ho won a seat in the election with 35,657 votes in the New Territories West constituency. He thanked the China Liaison Office, among others, in an interview with i-Cable as election results were coming out.

Ho said on Tuesday he will soon visit the Liaison Office personally.

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.