HK chief execs at funeral of politician

HONG KONG • The funeral of legendary Hong Kong politician and champion of the underprivileged Elsie Tu, who died at 102 earlier this month, was held with the current chief executive and two former leaders of the city among the eight pallbearers.

At the funeral held yesterday, hundreds of mourners and tributes poured in for the British-born Ms Tu, who was one of Hong Kong's most beloved public figures.

Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun Ying praised Ms Tu for her enthusiasm for the society, reported the South China Morning Post.

"She had been helping the poor since the 1950s... and devoted her life for democracy. Even in the latter days of her life, as long as her health permitted, she wrote to newspapers to give her analysis (on current issues). Her arguments were clear and sound," he said during his speech.

Mr Leung joined former chief executives Tung Chee Hwa and Donald Tsang Yam Kuen in carrying Ms Tu's casket. It marked the first time that the city's current chief executive and two former leaders of the city were among the pallbearers in a funeral, reported the Post.

A lawmaker, social activist and anti-corruption campaigner, Ms Tu moved to Hong Kong in 1951 with her then husband, Mr William Elliot, to do missionary work. She became a household name after she joined politics in 1963, when she was elected to the Urban Council, one of Hong Kong's first opposition groups.

While she was regarded as a Beijing loyalist and attracted criticism from pro-democracy politicians, she did not define herself in such terms, said the Telegraph.

Her ashes will be buried with those of her second husband, Mr Andrew Tu, with whom she co-founded the Mu Kuang English School.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 21, 2015, with the headline 'HK chief execs at funeral of politician'. Print Edition | Subscribe