A funeral home has denied a report that it refused services for the family of a Hong Kong university student who died following a fall near a protest.

Alex Chow Tsz-lok, a 22-year-old second-year HKUST student, fell from Sheung Tak Estate car park’s third floor onto the second floor in Tseung Kwan O. The incident took place near a police operation to disperse protesters. The reason for his fall remains unclear. Chow was left in a critical condition and died after suffering a cardiac arrest a week later.

Chow Tsz-lok
Chow Tsz-lok.

A report carried by Next Magazine claimed that Chow’s funeral was set to be held at the Po Fook Memorial Hall. However, the funeral home reportedly called Chow’s mother last Thursday saying that neither they – nor anyone in the funeral industry – would hold Chow’s funeral.

The Po Fook Memorial Hall denied the report and said it has been working with the family to provide services: “Our company will maintain our principle of quality service,” it said in a statement.

october 8 Alex Chow Tsz-lok (44)
Photo: May James/HKFP.

Pasu Ng, founding chair of the Hong Kong Life and Death Studies Association, said he would help with the family, pay for the relevant fees, and be responsible for preparing the body for the funeral.

He urged the public not to protest at the Po Fook Memorial Hall.

After the Next Magazine report was published, the owner of Jar Gor 1996 – a Hong Kong-style street food chain – had said he had made arrangements with the International Funeral Parlour in Hung Hom to hold services, if required.

Po Fook Memorial Hall
Po Fook Memorial Hall. Photo: Po Fook Memorial Hall.

The owner said a friend of Chow’s family called him and said the incident had now been handled.

“[The family] is very much thankful for all of your concern,” the owner said. “I want to urge you to respect the Chow family’s decision, so that the family can quietly go through this last journey with him.”

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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.