Former chief executive Leung Chun-ying, also a vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, today filed for defamation against Hong Kong Polytechnic University professor Chung Kim-wah and online news outlet Stand News. We are deeply concerned, and express regret to Mr Leung’s action.
We worry people holding official posts taking media outlets and writers of articles they carried to court, on the ground of defamation, will cause negative effects and consequences over the preservation of Hong Kong’s core values of diversity of views and free debate. Lawsuits, which often incur huge costs, will bring about unnecessary pressure and trouble to the media outlets and people involved, particularly for those who lack financial resources.
Over the past five years, Mr Leung, both in his capacity as chief executive and vice-chairman of CPPCC, have issued legal letters to media outlets concerning three cases. The letters are mainly related to the issues about whether he had attended a dinner during his election campaign, in which people said to have associated with triads also took part. Others hinged upon his acceptance of HK$50 million from Australian firm UGL, which raised integrity issues. Today’s legal letter is no exception.
Hong Kong people cherish facts and reason. We welcome Mr Leung to be honest and open by telling the whole truth and responding directly to contents of the articles he considers as defamatory. We believe Hong Kong people are fair and reasonable.
Hong Kong Journalists Association
24 August 2018