Alvin Yeung wins Legco by-election

The Civic Party’s Alvin Yeung has promised to help reform Legco’s pan-democrats after a convincing win in the Legislative Council by-election for the New Territories East constituency.

Even though the pan-democratic vote was split between Yeung and other pro-democracy candidates – both more moderate and more radical – the barrister received 160,880 votes, or 37.2 percent of the 432,581 ballots cast, to beat out his closest challenger, Holden Chow of the DAB party, by more than 10,000 votes.

24 year-old activist Edward Leung from the localist group Hong Kong Indigenous also had a strong showing, garnering 66,524 votes — over 15 percent of the 432,581 total votes cast.

After the election results were announced early Monday morning, Yeung immediately pledged to shake up the way the pan-democrats operate in the legislative council.

“No doubt… Hong Kong people are expecting pan-democrats to reform, and I understand that I have this duty to take part in this reform,” Yeung said. He said the Civic Party is willing to assume greater responsibility and help unite the fractured camp.

His victory means that the pan-democratic camp will hold on to its one-seat majority in the directly-elected geographic constituency seats in the legislature. However, Yeung said that doesn’t mean everything will be business as usual.

“I don’t think people are happy that pan-democrat legislators simply press the veto button and simply say that this is the darkest day for HK democracy. In fact, I have seen in the past few months that legislators across [the pan-democratic camp] are willing and happy to get united and do something more than just pressing the button, like filibustering, and to get out of the seat and try to stop the bill,” he said.

Civic Party chair Audrey Eu said she’s relieved that Alvin Yeung was able to reclaim the seat that his mentor, Ronny Tong, formerly held before he resigned from the council last June. “It’s a very critical seat, and I’m very relieved that… the pan-democrats are able to keep this seat and, in a way, still maintain veto power in Legco as far as the direct-election seats are concerned,” she said.

The DAB’s Holden Chow said he was sorry he didn’t meet people’s expectations, but will continue to walk on the “right track”. Chow added that he hasn’t decided whether he will join the full Legislative Council elections in September yet.

Last updated: 2016-02-29 HKT 06:53

Volcanic eruption warning issued for Mt Io in Kyushu



The Japan Meteorological Agency warned Sunday of a possible small eruption at Mt. Io, which straddles the southwestern prefectures of Miyazaki and Kagoshima, after observing an increase in volcanic earthquakes.

The local government in Ebino declared a 1-kilometer no-entry zone around the crater of Mt. Io, part of the Kirishima mountains, while the weather agency said that large stones could be ejected within a 1-km radius in the event of an eruption.

The agency detected 50 volcanic temblors by 3 p.m. Sunday at the 1,317-meter volcano, the highest per day since it set up seismometers there in March 2013.

Volcanic activity has intensified since last year, the agency said. In addition to volcanic quakes, fumarolic gas was observed in December and areas with high ground heat have been expanding.

An end to ‘using fire to reignite hatred,’ urges KMT after attack

TAIPEI–The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) expressed regret over a violent protest against it earlier Sunday and stressed that it will never forget the “historical lessons” of the violent crackdown it initiated in Taiwan nearly seven decades ago.


“The KMT will continue to pursue social harmony,” said a KMT spokeswoman after a motorcyclist was found to have thrown Molotov cocktails at the party’s headquarters in Taipei.

The protester also flung flyers calling for holding the KMT and the United States accountable for “the massacre and political suppression in Taiwan” that began on Feb. 28, 1947, and demanded that the KMT return its ill-gotten assets to Taiwan’s people.

Lin Yih-hua (林奕華), director of the KMT’s Department of Culture and Communications, said it was regrettable that such a violent protest had happened on a day marked by “historical wounds.”

The 228 Incident refers to the KMT’s crackdown on protests of its abuse of power in Taiwan following the end of Japanese colonial rule.

The crackdown was triggered by an event on Feb. 27, 1947, and lasted for several weeks, leaving up to 28,000 people dead, according to government estimates.

The KMT’s authoritarian rule clamped down further on dissent after the Nationalists retreated to Taiwan from China in 1949, launching a period known as the “White Terror,” when thousands more were killed or arrested.

Only in the late 1980s with the lifting of martial law did the KMT’s grip on society begin to weaken.

Lin said the KMT and the incumbent KMT administration of President Ma Ying-jeou have made great efforts over the years “to heal the wounds and proactively promote reconciliation among ethnic groups.”

She said her party was worried that such a radical way of expressing views might create new “hatred and stand-offs” in Taiwan, which already enjoys freedom of expression and ethnic harmony.

She called for “greater tolerance and respect” in dealing with the historical issue by applying the “same sets of human rights and rule of law standards.”

Huang Min-hui (黃敏慧), the party’s acting chairwoman who is running to assume the party’s top post, denounced the violence and urged all KMT haters to stop “using historical wounds to create stand-offs and divisions.”