HONG KONG • Pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho yesterday issued what appeared to be a death threat to pro-democracy politician Eddie Chu, warning him that he needs to decide if he wants to stay alive, public broadcaster RTHK reported.
In a video posted on his Facebook page, Mr Ho accused Mr Chu of inciting supporters to desecrate the tombstones of his parents and demanded that Mr Chu submit the names of the people responsible for the vandalism to the police.
"Today, I want to tell you very clearly," Mr Ho said in Cantonese. "The paths before you? One is a path of being alive, one is a path of not being alive. You must choose which path to take. Decide soon."
Mr Ho became the target of public anger after a video emerged of him shaking hands with men in white T-shirts suspected of brazenly beating up people with metal sticks and bamboo poles at an MTR station on Sunday.
Dozens of protesters and train passengers were injured in the assault in and around the station in Yuen Long, a satellite town in north-western Hong Kong near the border with mainland China, The New York Times reported.
The Yuen Long attacks raised tensions in the Chinese territory to new levels after weeks of demonstrations stemming from a controversial extradition Bill.
On both Monday and Tuesday, protesters vandalised Mr Ho's three offices.
Mr Ho denied any connection with the Yuen Long attacks, and said he was simply talking with people who came up to him as he was walking past them, the Times report said.
In response to Mr Ho's comments yesterday, Mr Chu said that he did not plan to make a police report over the alleged death threat.
"I will not say that it was a death threat, but it was an open threat, and I think everybody can be the witness," Mr Chu said in comments reported by RTHK yesterday. "And everywhere I go, my fellow citizens are asking for my safety. So, I don't think in this short period of time, I am in any possible danger."
Mr Chu added that police should focus their efforts on investigating the assaults at Yuen Long MTR station and whether Mr Ho had any relationship with the attackers.
The spat between the two lawmakers began on Tuesday during a TV debate on RTHK. "You are a lawmaker who brings violence into the Legislative Council," Mr Ho had shouted at Mr Chu, banging the table between them. "Now, you are magnifying violence, bringing violence back to the community. You are such scum!"
Earlier in the show, Mr Ho grabbed Mr Chu's shoulder and demanded that he denounce violence and call off future protests, RTHK reported.
On Sunday, protesters painted graffiti on Beijing's Liaison Office in Hong Kong, an act that Chinese officials said "openly challenged the authority of the central government", the Times reported.