Hong Kong’s anti-graft agency is reportedly investigating the alleged inclusion of misleading information in pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho’s election material.

His election pamphlet for the Legislative Council election in 2016 in Chinese stated that he was a “practising” solicitor in Singapore, England and Wales. The same was stated in his company and Legislative Council biographies.

Although Ho was admitted as a solicitor in the jurisdictions mentioned, it was later revealed that he did not hold practising certificates. The Neo Democrats party reported the case to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) on September 25.

Junius Ho
Junius Ho. Photo: Facebook/Junius Ho.

The party claimed that Ho had made false statements on his election pamphlets, claiming that Ho’s actions violated article 26 of the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance. Party members Gary Fan and Kwan Wing-yip said Ho updated his biography on his company website, thus it proved the previous information he gave was incorrect. The update suggested that he could potentially become a practising member, but that he was not necessarily practising.

Citing unnamed sources, Apple Daily and Ming Pao reported that the ICAC has decided to launch an investigation.

Unafraid of ‘persecution’

Ho read the news during a Facebook Live video session on Tuesday night, and stated that he will face the investigation “with braveness.”

“It’s not a problem, there can be investigations at anytime,” he said. “I am not afraid of being persecuted. I will be careful in facing all challenges.”

Section 26 of the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance stipulates that any candidate or person who publishes a materially false or misleading statement of fact about particular candidate(s) for the purpose of promoting or prejudicing the election of the candidate or candidates shall be guilty of an offence.

junius ho lingsulate
Flyers handed out at Lingnan University on Junius Ho. Photo: Facebook via 嶺事館.

At an anti-independence rally on September 17, rural leader Tsang Shu-wo said onstage that pro-independence activists should be “killed.” Ho shouted “without mercy” into his microphone, though later said that he uttered “a wrong choice of words” in the heat of the moment.

A person made a complaint to the Solicitors Regulation Authority in the UK over his conduct, and coincidentally led to the discovery that Ho did not hold practising certifications.

Students of Lingnan University have been “occupying” the school grounds this  week to demand the administration take action over Ho, who also sits on the university’s governing body.

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.