Pro-Beijing Kowloon West by-election candidate Rebecca Chan Hoi-yan has apologised after one of her pamphlets was criticised for plagiarising a document written by a democrat.

Kenny Lai, a Democratic Party Kowloon City district councillor, said he found the pamphlet on the ground when he was going home after a meeting on Tuesday night. The flyer promoted by Chan and the Federation of Trade Union’s Cheung Chung-hang.

“I was curious to see what new things Ms Chan and Mr Cheung were doing, but I found some of the wording very familiar when I looked at it… It was a document that two Kowloon City district councillors and I submitted to the District Council in September 2017 – the content was exactly the same,” Lai wrote in a Facebook post.


Posted by 黎廣偉 Kenny Lai Kwong Wai on Wednesday, 31 October 2018

The pamphlet was urging a review of tourism laws, as the Kowloon City district has seen a large influx of mainland tourists and the area’s facilities have yet to catch up.

Lai criticised Chan as lacking professional standards, despite her being a former broadcast journalist.

“Did you ask others when you plagiarised other people’s homework?” Lai said. “Didn’t they teach you about plagiarism at university?”

In response, Chan’s team said: “We are deeply sorry that, in a promotional pamphlet on local issues, we used reference materials as the final version because of a mistake in production.”

“The team has stopped distributing the relevant pamphlets,” it added.

Lee Cheuk-yan. Photo: Facebook/Lee Cheuk-yan.

Pro-democracy candidate Lee Cheuk-yan said that Chan had 15 years of experience in the media, and it was unacceptable that she plagiarised suggestions from a pro-democracy district councillor.

“The ‘media DNA’ that she was so proud of – was it Xinhua’s news articles that everyone has to use, or content farms that plagiarise content all the time?” Lee said.

Plagiarised contents on Rebecca Chan’s pamphlets. Photo: Citizen News.

Citizen News reported that the same plagiarised content was also printed on joint pamphlets from other pro-Beijing district councillors, including Lam Pok of Kowloon West New Dynamic and Luk King-kwong of Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong – over 9,000 copies were printed of the latter.

Other candidates for the November 25 by-election for the Kowloon West geographical constituency include Fung Kin-kee Frederick, Ng Dick-hay and Tzeng Li-wen Judy.

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.