Pro-Beijing candidate Vincent Cheng has criticised fellow Kowloon West candidate Edward Yiu for “smearing” him after Yiu questioned whether Cheng’s work with property giant Henderson’s charity could subject him to “manipulation.”

The Legislative Council by-elections will take place March 11 to fill four seats vacated over the 2016 oath-taking row. In the Kowloon West constituency, pro-democracy candidate and former lawmaker Edward Yiu is up against Vincent Cheng, a DAB district councillor, as well as Jonathan Tsoi Tung-chau, who is listed as independent.

Edward Yiu. Photo: In-Media.

At an election forum hosted by Now TV on Thursday, Yiu presented Cheng with a Lunar New Year banner urging him to make a living on his own rather than depending on others. He claimed that Cheng owes his candidacy to Beijing, his apartment to his father, and income to Lee Shau-kee, owner of Henderson Land Development. Yiu also warned Cheng not to be “manipulated” by others.

Home Market stores

Yiu’s Facebook page also features a video on Cheng’s position with Home Market, and accuses the company of having close ties to the pro-establishment party.

According to Henderson’s page, Home Market “is a pioneering poverty relief project that comprises a chain of not-for-profit convenience stores selling food and daily necessities at bargain prices to underprivileged people” supported by the Henderson Warmth Foundation.

The video also alleges that the firm obtains personal information who those who sign up as members, including birth certificates or marriage certificates.

In a statement published on Facebook on Thursday, Cheng said that he has been the deputy executive director at Home Market for over three years and that it is a non-profit organisation serving the grassroots community. Cheng said the supermarket operated completely independently.

Cheng also said that his work with Home Market was public knowledge and that he had declared it with the District Council, as well as the Legislative Council race.

“I feel very disappointment concerning this decision to mislead [the public] in order to attain a political goal. It is now only two weeks from the election — I hope to compare platforms and policies with everyone rather than to be engaging in smearing,” Cheng said.

Cheng added he hoped he and Yiu could discuss the livelihood issues residents of Kowloon West were most concerned about.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.