Influential Hong Kong journalist stable after attack with cleaver

Police say assault bore hallmarks of a ‘triad’ attack

Editorial staff members of Hong Kong’s Ming Pao newspaper display their front page with the headline about former editor Kevin Lau, who was seriously assaulted. Photograph: Kin Cheung/AP

Editorial staff members of Hong Kong’s Ming Pao newspaper display their front page with the headline about former editor Kevin Lau, who was seriously assaulted. Photograph: Kin Cheung/AP

Thu, Feb 27, 2014, 18:23

Hong Kong’s Ming Pao newspaper has offered reward of HK$1 million (

€94,200) for information about an attack on its former editor and influential journalist Kevin Lau, who is in a stable condition after the assault.

Police sources told local media the “savage” attack with a meat cleaver bore all the hallmarks of a Triad-organised gang attack, possibly linked to an investigation into shady business dealings, and it was “designed to maim, not kill, to send a warning”.

Mr Lau was controversially fired as chief editor of the Chinese-language Ming Pao last month, prompting a debate over censorship at what was once one of the former crown colony’s most outspoken newspapers.

There has been speculation that the attack was in some way linked to his work in partnership with the ICIJ, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, including Ming Pao ’s rece nt articles about the shady business affairs of senior mainland figures.

While mainland China’s media is tightly controlled by the Communist Party, the Hong Kong media has always enjoyed a high degree of independence, even since the territory reverted to Beijing in 1997.

Mr Lau was ambushed on the Sai Wan Ho waterfront at about 10.30am after leaving his car, near a restaurant he often visited for breakfast.

He suffered multiple cuts to his back and legs. One wound was so deep it exposed his chest cavity and vital organs, the South China Morning Post reported.