Pro-Beijing firebrand Junius Ho stepped before cameras today to once again do what he does best: make unsubstantiated claims and court controversy, calling on police to investigate foreigners and his pro-dem counterparts over what he characterized as their nefarious involvement in the city’s ongoing protest movement.
In a press conference this morning, Ho urged the authorities to look into the roles played by lawmakers Lam Cheuk-ting, Roy Kwong, Cheng Chung-tai, Andrew Wan, and Ho’s apparent nemesis Eddie Chu, claiming they should be arrested for inciting protests, causing a public nuisance, and illegal assembly. He also took aim at district councillor Roy Tam, whom Ho claimed took part in vandalizing his office in Tsuen Wan last month.
Not content to stop there, Ho moved into the “black hands” portion of his remarks, with an aide holding up photos of three foreigners who have been seen at recent protests, and who have been accused by pro-Beijing pols of being “CIA agents” and foreign spies sent to Hong Kong to stoke turmoil within the SAR.
“Some have said they’re journalists,” Ho said of the foreign presence, “but is the answer that simple?”
One of the people singled out in Ho’s press conference was Twitter user Hong Kong Hermit, who has been documenting the protests extensively on social media.
He was first singled out as a purported foreign agent by Beijing-backed Global Times, who were citing a Facebook post by DAB lawmaker Ann Chiang, who had questioned why he “command[s] on the scene.” Chiang is a similarly colorful pro-Beijing lawmaker, who has likened pro-democracy lawmakers to mental patients and said that asylum seekers should be sheltered on outlying islands to stop them from committing crimes.
Why were foreigners there every time when riots occurred? Why did this foreigner command on the scene? #HongKong lawmaker CHIANG Lai-wan asked in a post showing that a foreigner videotaped clashes on Sunday night in Sha Tin and gave some instructions pic.twitter.com/saAHkdtjYj
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) July 15, 2019
Ho today also referred to Hong Kong Hermit as a foreign commander, repeating Chiang’s claim that he had been using secret hand signals at at protest at New Town Plaza in Sha Tin and urging the police to arrest and investigate any unidentified foreigners at protests to determine their true identities.
Hong Kong Hermit has publicly laughed off the claims, but said in a recent interview with the Guardian that the recent publicity had brought his presence at the protests to the attention of his boss, and that an angry cop at a recent protest told him he was “internet famous.”
Asked to respond to Ho’s claims today, Hermit said in a message that “It’s always nice to have a fan,” but had not responded to further questions as of press time.
In public posts, he questioned the possibility of legal action and offered some career advice for Ho.
Junius Ho retire bitch
— Hong Kong Hermit (@HongKongHermit) August 2, 2019
Ho himself has been in hot water lately after he was filmed getting chummy with white-shirted supporters who were later linked to the vicious attacks on pro-democracy protesters at Yuen Long MTR on July 21. The fallout from the video was swift and intense: at least three of Ho’s offices were vandalized by angry protesters, and, in a shocking escalation, the graves of his parents were desecrated by unknown people.
Ho blamed the vandalism on pro-dem Eddie Chu, with whom he had sparred on RTHK earlier in the day, and whom he appeared to threaten with death in a Facebook video later the same night.
Chu initially declined to report the message, but yesterday told reporters that since the video missive he had been told of several purported plots by people in his New Territories district planning to do him and his staff harm.
Ho today denied threatening Chu, and left the briefing without taking any questions from reporters.
Roy Tam, the politician Ho accused of vandalizing his office, took to Facebook to describe the press conference as “20 minutes of nonsense.”
“The accusation that Junius Ho has made against me is really unfounded,” he said. “His purpose is to divert our attention, and his relationship with the men in white clothes is the subject that everyone should be focusing on.”
Ho, meanwhile, has been calling for a little outside intervention of his own. Last week he appeared in a Global Times video holding up a copy of Hong Kong’s Basic Law and urging the People’s Liberation Army to restore order in the city.
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) July 25, 2019