Hong Kong pro-Beijing legislator Junius Ho Kwan-yiu was stabbed while campaigning on the streets on Nov. 6. Videos of the attack, as well as of Ho in the hospital, were soon released by pro-Beijing media.
A Facebook post about the attack by pro-Beijing newspaper Ta Kung Pao was time-stamped hours before the attack happened, leading many netizens to speculate that the incident was staged.
Ho has been widely criticized for his incendiary comments about Hongkongers who participate in current protests against Beijing’s encroachment over city affairs. During recent public events and on social media, he has called protesters “cockroaches” that should be killed.
He was also spotted shaking hands and praising a group of white-shirted men just before a mob dressed in white attacked travelers at the Yuen Long metro station on July 21 evening. At least 45 were injured.
On Oct. 28, Ho’s alma mater, the British Anglia Ruskin University, withdrew Ho’s honorary doctorate, awarded in 2011.
Hong Kong will hold district council elections on Nov. 24, whereby residents will vote to determine who will fill 452 seats in the city’s 18 district councils. The number of council members in each constituency is determined by population.
Junius Ho is both a lawmaker in the city’s legislature and a district councilor for the Tuen Mun district.
According to a video widely shared by pro-Beijing media in Hong Kong, as Ho and his team were campaigning for his councilor re-election near Wu Chui Road at around 9:00 a.m. local time, a man dressed in a blue T-shirt and carrying a shoulder bag, approached Ho.
He said he was a supporter, and handed Ho a bunch of flowers. Ho then offers to take a photo with him. The man agrees, and is heard saying, “Let me take my phone out.”
As he reaches into his bag, the man takes out a fruit knife and stabs Ho in the chest.
Ho flinches immediately, while two men standing nearby wrestle the attacker to the ground quickly.
Ho was then taken to a nearby hospital by ambulance. Local media reported that there were two other people injured in the attack.
Police arrested the attacker and released his surname as See.
About two hours later, pro-Beijing media released a video where Ho appears to be in a hospital with a surgical mask on. He said “black forces” have targeted pro-Beijing candidates, and vowed “to remain courageous and fearless.”
He also says his wound is roughly 2 centimeters (0.787 inch) wide and 1 centimeter (0.39 inch) deep. But a report by Chinese state-run newspaper Beijing Daily claimed that its onsite reporter learned that the wound was 5 centimeters (1.97 inches) deep.
Ta Kung Pao Post
According to screenshots, Ta Kung Pao posted on its official Facebook page about Ho being attacked and hospitalized at 7:54 p.m. on Nov. 5 local time, which is more than 13 hours before the incident happened.
The original post has since been deleted.
Netizens soon speculated that Ho premeditated the attack, with Ta Kung Pao spreading the news in advance.
In response to the rumors, Ta Kung Pao posted a Facebook statement on Nov. 6, in which it said “our administrator’s Facebook account was suspected of being hacked. The hacker changed the post’s timestamp to 19:54 of Nov. 5.” The newspaper claimed that the post was actually posted on Nov. 6 11:54 am.
According to Facebook, the administrator of a Facebook page can change the date of a post or “backdate” a post.
When testing this function, The Epoch Times found that a Facebook page administrator can edit the posting date, but cannot change the posting time.
Netizens soon questioned the incident, noting that the videographer’s angle is conveniently placed to capture the attack clearly, while the attacker did not seem to resist when the people nearby wrestled him to the ground.
Kingsley Sit Ho-yin, director of the New Territories Heung Yee Kuk research center and former lawmaker, told New Tang Dynasty Television on Nov. 6, that he found it suspicious that Ho dodged the man so quickly in the video.
“We try to protect ourselves when we get hurt, which is a natural reflex. Legislator Ho didn’t behave like this,” he said.
Ho’s elder brother, lawyer Casey K.C. Ho, told media at the hospital on Nov. 6 that they suspected an attack could happen during campaigning and hired bodyguards in advance.
Meanwhile, in recent weeks, at least two pro-democracy activists were attacked.
Andrew Chiu Ka Yin, a district councillor for Tai Koo Shing West, had part of his ear bitten off during an altercation with a mainland Chinese citizen inside the Cityplaza mall on Nov. 3 evening.
Jimmy Sham Tsz Kit, convener of the pro-democracy group and main organizer behind the city’s mass demonstrations, Civil Human Rights Front, was attacked with hammers by at least four unidentified people in Mong Kok on the evening of Oct. 16, causing him to bleed severely from the head.