Kenneth Leung, a Hong Kong lawmaker representing the Accountancy Functional Constituency, was denied entry into Macau last Sunday afternoon.
Leung, who was planning a holiday with his family in Macau, demanded an explanation from the Macau authorities as the lawmaker was unconvinced by the reason offered by immigration officers that he would be a threat to the city’s internal security.
“This is utterly strange and totally beyond comprehension,” said Leung, who entered Macau last April without any difficulties. “I have done nothing related to Macau recently … The Macau authorities are [denying entry] recklessly.”
Leung was among 18 lawmakers who paid a two-day visit last week to the Dongjiang or East River in Guangdong to inspect the source of Hong Kong’s water supply. “I do not understand why I would be turned away from Macau when I could actually enter the mainland.”
The lawmaker came under the spotlight in March after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who recently became a vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, sued him for defamation over remarks about a HK$50 million payment he received from an Australian engineering firm.
Kenneth Leung was also a key figure who helped coordinate the 326 pan-democrats on the 1,194-member Election Committee, which returned Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor as the next chief executive last month.
Leung, who has never been refused entry to Macau previously, pledged to raise the case with Hong Kong’s Security Bureau.
Hong Kong residents can enter Macau with their identity cards. But it has been turning away more activists from Hong Kong in recent years.
Last October, many Hong Kongers were denied entry into Macau, including independent film director Lo Chun Yip, actor and former social activist Lam Fai Fred; and human rights activist Shaw Kwok Wah. Lo intended to visit Macau to attend a short movie workshop hosted by his friend, while Lam had been invited by a Macau middle school to present a lecture on travelling. At least 11 pan-democratic lawmakers have been refused entry at least once since 2008, alongside a number of social activists.