Two pro-government candidates in Hong Kong’s upcoming Legislative Council (LegCo) election have each received a package mailed from Taiwan containing rotten meat, in what they described as a threat.

Regina Ip of the New People’s Party and Nixie Lam of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) said they received a package on Wednesday and Thursday respectively. The letters bore a Taiwan stamp and their addresses were printed.

Ip told local media she thought the letter sent to her home appeared unusual and asked her domestic worker to cut it open with scissors. They found a plastic packet inside that looked like it contained vomit or bodily fluids and reported it to the police. Ip, who is running in the Hong Kong Island West District, said police examination confirmed that it contained rotten meat.

A suspicious letter sent to Nixie Lam.
A suspicious letter sent to Nixie Lam. Photo: DAB.

Nixie Lam, who is running for a seat in LegCo’s Election Committee constituency, received a similar letter on Thursday, which police confirmed contained rotten meat similar to what several judges were sent earlier in November, her party said. “Nixie Lam strongly condemns these despicable acts of threats… attempting to silence her,” it said in a statement . “Nixie will not fear such evil forces and their conspiracy will not succeed.”

Lam believes the government and the police will ensure that the December 19 election takes place fairly and safely, it said.

Spate of threats

Four judges received at least seven letters containing packets of rotten meat or white powder in the past two weeks, Ming Pao reported. A Telegram user claiming to be a Hongkonger who fled to Taiwan admitted responsibility for them in a public channel and posted photos on Wednesday of a piece of paper printed in a similar font.

DAB Rock Chen, Nixie Lam, Joseph Chan.
From left to right: Rock Chen, Nixie Lam, Joseph Chan. File Photo: Selina Cheng/HKFP.

In one English-language message the Telegram user said “the legal system of Hong Kong is just a joke” and the letters were “just a protest” to demand an apology from the government over violence since June 2019 and an amnesty for protesters.

The police Organised Crime and Triad Bureau is investigating the case. The judiciary said it stepped up security at courts and requested help from the postal service to inspect all mail sent to them. The customs department said it would inspect airmail sent to Hong Kong.

A police spokesperson told HKFP that the letters Lam and Ip received were being investigated as a case of criminal intimidation. The spokesman declined comment on whether candidates would be offered extra security.

Candidates running in the Hong Kong Island West district are Regina Ip, Chan Hok-fung and Fong Lung-fei. All candidates running in the election committee constituency can be found here.

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Selina Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist who previously worked with HK01, Quartz and AFP Beijing. She also covered the Umbrella Movement for AP and reported for a newspaper in France. Selina has studied investigative reporting at the Columbia Journalism School.