'Zero tolerance on act of sabotage,' HK authorities on high alert ahead of LegCo voting day
Published: Dec 18, 2021 04:26 PM
Photos: Wenweipo

Photos: Wenweipo

Hong Kong law enforcement authorities are on high alert to fend off any act of sabotage and illegal acts of interfering in the fairness of the Legislative Council (LegCo) election, which is scheduled to take place from 8:30 am to 10:30 pm on Sunday, with the police deploying over 10,000 police officers. The local disciplinary watchdog issued a new warrant to arrest secessionists like Nathan Law who constantly smear the election and call for blank votes. 

Raymond Siu Chak-yee, Commissioner of the Hong Kong Police Force, told local media on Saturday morning that there will be more than 10,000 police officers deployed on Sunday across the city including those in military uniforms, plainclothes and the special force to ensure the LegCo election will run smoothly. 

Those officers will take the work of patrolling, supervising and information gathering, and the HKPF has the confidence and the capability of dealing with those who break the law, having zero tolerance to any form of illegal acts of sabotaging the election. Some photos circulating online on Saturday showed that major counterterrorism division of the HKPF including the counterterrorism special force, the unit in airport and in rail, taking high-profile patrols around polling stations citywide. 

Hong Kong Secretary for Security Chris Tang Ping-keung warned earlier of attacks of the "lone wolf" style and domestic terrorism, as some lawmakers may interfere in the process by hindering voters from entering polling stations.

Although the national security law for Hong Kong and the electoral reforms have brought peace and social stability to Hong Kong over the past year, former lawmakers and district councilors who absconded overseas such as Ted Hui Chi-fung and Nathan Law Kwun-chung are constantly instigating the public to cast blank votes on Sunday, a major way of defying the legitimacy of the electoral reform. Hong Kong authorities have also enforced the law resolutely against such instigation. 

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) of the HKSAR issued a new warrant on Saturday to arrest five people suspected of violating the elections ordinance by openly instigating others to cast blank votes or invalid votes. Among the wanted people are Sunny Cheung, former spokesperson of the pro-separation group "Network DIPLO" who participated in calls urging foreign countries to impose sanctions on individuals in Hong Kong, infamous secessionist Nathan Law, and former Kowloon City district councilor Timothy Lee. 

The ICAC said in a post on its website that Cheung has been engaged in public activities on Wednesday and Thursday to instigate blank votes, including publishing two such posts on his social media page. 

Nathan Law faced a charge of violating the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance, and according to legal experts, anyone publicly instigating others to cast blank votes could face up to three years of imprisonment with a fine of HK$200,000 ($25,637). 

The ICAC sued two people on Thursday for reposting a post from Hui, which was instigating others to cast blank votes. It was also the first time to bring up such new offense since the elections ordinance amendment in May.

The Security Bureau of the HKSAR also said on Saturday that the Hong Kong Disciplined Services are ready and well organized to ensure the election on Sunday will take place in an orderly and safe manner. They will counter any act of interfering in the election and potential risks by enhancing information gathering and online patrol. 

The overall atmosphere for the upcoming voting day was peaceful while some local residents are in high spirit, and some said they received a text message from the HKSAR government that encouraged them to vote on Sunday. Also, 500 taxis attached with banners encouraging the public to vote made a tour in the city on Saturday.