Veteran Hong Kong journalist Kevin Lau’s opinion column in Ming Pao has halted. Lau told HKFP that he was retiring.

Kevin Lau. File photo.

Lau wrote in his column on Tuesday that he would bid “farewell to readers temporarily,” and “hopes to see them again in the future” – but he did not provide any reason.

Lau’s column was among the few remaining in the local Chinese press which kept a critical eye on government policy. He told HKFP on Wednesday that he was “only retiring.”

“I want to rest and travel more, and don’t want to think about submitting copy,” he added.

In his latest and last piece published on Tuesday, Lau listed four errors in the latest phase of the HK$5,000 consumer voucher handout, and criticised the government as mishandling the disqualification of applicants who withdrew their pension early.

“Is the chaos brought by the new administration a result of its over-emphasis on being ‘result-oriented’ [with] a lack of thought on the method?” Lau wrote.

HKFP has reached out to Ming Pao for comment.

Former chief editor

Lau became the chief editor of Ming Pao in 2012. He was replaced by Malaysian journalist Chong Tien Siong after Lau was attacked by knife-wielding thugs in February 2014. He was left with six wounds and was hospitalised for five months.

Ming Pao. File photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Lau was also one of the founding members of the now-defunct Citizen News, which shuttered in January days after the closure of online media outlet Stand News following a police raid. Citizen News cited unclear legal boundaries when explaining their shutdown.

On April 11, another veteran journalist who wrote for Ming Pao, Allan Au, was arrested by national security police for allegedly conspiring to publish “seditious materials.” Au had also been a columnist for Stand News.

Au was released on police bail the day after.

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Peter Lee

Peter Lee is a reporter for HKFP. He was previously a freelance journalist at Initium, covering political and court news. He holds a Global Communication bachelor degree from CUHK.