Democratic Party lawmaker Ted Hui was arrested for dishonest use of a computer, common assault, criminal destruction and obstruction of public officer on Saturday after he snatched a civil servant’s phone in the legislature last week.

Hui was released on HK$8,000 bail at around 11pm.

Hui snatched a phone from a government executive officer who was tasked with checking upon the whereabouts of lawmakers. He checked the device in a men’s bathroom for some ten minutes in an effort to discover what data was being collected.

Ted Hui
Ted Hui. File Photo:

The executive officer in question reported the matter to the police, and the Democratic Party suspended Hui’s membership following the incident. Chief Executive Carrie Lam has called Hui’s behaviour “barbaric.”

Motion to censure

Pro-Beijing lawmaker Regina Ip is set to move a motion to censure Hui over the incident. He risks being removed from the Legislative Council if – following an investigation – two-thirds of lawmakers vote in favour of his disqualification.

The Legislative Council debated the motion at a House Committee meeting on Friday. Hui has admitted wrongdoing and said that he would respect and accept the Legislative Council handling the matter in accordance with its procedures and mechanisms.

Regina Ip
Regina Ip. Photo:

“Finally, I hope that – with this incident – the legislature, the public and especially the government would really reflect upon whether it is appropriate to send officers to monitor the lawmakers, and if it’s in the interests of the public,” he said, urging a review over the issue.

Ip said that Hui behaved childishly, describing his act as “misconduct.”

“This behaviour shows that his personality is not suited to be a lawmaker,” she added. Ip intends to raise the motion at the Legislative Council meeting on May 23.

A censure motion requires the votes of two-thirds of lawmakers in attendance to pass. The legislature has 68 members, of which 25 belong to the pro-democracy camp – not including neutral medical sector lawmaker Pierre Chan.

The Democratic Party – which holds seven seats – said that it will not vote, in order to avoid a conflict of interest. If party members do not attend the meeting, Hui may be at risk of disqualification.

Last year, lawmakers slammed the police force for failing to disclose law enforcement information related to the charge of accessing a computer with dishonest intent and how it is used against activists.

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.