SPECIAL REPORT

Pro-independence duo may take cause back to streets

HONG KONG • A Beijing ruling yesterday, which could ban Ms Yau Wai Ching and Mr Sixtus Leung from the legislature, may also see the two pro-independence activists taking their campaign back to the streets.

The pair, who as new lawmakers had been advanced HK$834,393 (S$150,000) in operating funds, entertainment and travel expenses as well as IT and set-up costs, according to a South China Morning Post report, could also find themselves having to pay back the sum to the legislature.

Including their monthly salary of HK$95,180 (S$17,650) payable from Oct 1, Ms Yau and Mr Leung had each received HK$929,573 by the end of last month, reported the Post.

In an interview with Hong Kong Economic Journal's EJ Insight last month, Ms Yau said people have been curious about how she would spend her salary, which is several times more than her last-drawn pay cheque as a community officer in Whampoa district.

Before that, she was working as an administrative assistant.

She told the English news portal that 15 per cent of her salary goes back to the political party and the bulk of it goes into funding district activities like opening offices. She would also give some to her family.

Ms Yau, who had described herself as a "nobody" two years ago, gained a high profile after she beat incumbent Raymond Wong with 20,643 votes to secure a seat in Kowloon West constituency in the Sept 4 legislative polls.

Last year, she ran against legislator Priscilla Leung in the Whampoa East district council election, losing by only 304 votes.

Born in Hong Kong, Ms Yau grew up in a middle-class family with both her parents working in the government sector. She studied Chinese language at Lingnan University.

As for Mr Leung, he worked as an e-commerce manager before taking part in the polls.

The Youngspiration convenor graduated from the City University of Hong Kong, where he was president of its student union in 2007.

Joyce Lim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 08, 2016, with the headline 'Pro-independence duo may take cause back to streets'. Print Edition | Subscribe