Exit signs as activists sell flats

Top News | Staff reporter 19 Jan 2021

Democracy activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung's parents and brother have fled for Australia, sources told Sing Tao Daily, sister newspaper of The Standard, as some activists have started selling their properties.

Wong, former secretary general of the disbanded Demosisto party, is serving a 13-and-a-half-month jail term after being convicted for organizing and inciting others to attend an unlawful assembly outside police headquarters in June 2019.

The 24-year-old was arrested again earlier this month for breaching the national security law by taking part in the pro-democracy camp's election primary, which was held last July.

The flight of Wong's parents came after his father, Roger Wong Wai-ming, an anti-LGBT activist, sold his South Horizons flat in November last year for HK$9.88 million, or HK$15,000 per square foot.

He made a book value profit of HK$5.73 million after his family bought the flat for HK$4.15 million in 2007.

Other activists prosecuted by authorities are selling their flats, fueling speculation that they are eyeing an exit.

Lam Cheuk-ting, vice chairman of the Democratic Party and a former Independent Commission Against Corruption investigator, sold a flat in Garden Vista in Sha Tin for over HK$12 million - more than double what he paid for.

According to real estate agency information, Lam's three-bedroom, 1,102 sq ft unit, with parking space, has been sold for HK$12.68 million.

Lam bought the flat in 2009 for HK$5.52 million - a book value appreciation of HK$7.16 million.

In response to media inquiries, Lam said he had to make preparations for his family, as he could not imagine how long the "political winter" in Hong Kong will last.

He cited needing money to send his children to school and for the multiple lawsuits he faces.

Lam faces eight charges, including three counts of disclosing the identity of a person under ICAC investigation, said to be a police commander.

He was among 55 politicians and activists arrested earlier this month on suspicion of subversion under the national security law.

Lee Cheuk-yan, a former lawmaker who is chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, confirmed that he sold his 1,109 sq ft flat in Mei Foo Sun Chuen Phase One in Lai Chi Kok for HK$10 million.

According to the Land Registry, Lee and his wife bought the flat in November 2006 for HK$3.32 million - a book value appreciation by HK$6.68 million.

Lee denied he is fleeing Hong Kong.

He explained that he noticed many Hongkongers have lost confidence in the future of the city, which could have triggered the emigration trend, and that current property prices would not be able to maintain their current high level in the future.

Lee added that he would never flee Hong Kong. He faces four lawsuits, including illegal assembly, but said he is prepared for prison.

wallis.wang@singtaonewscorp.com



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