Albert Ho

Albert Ho Chun-yan (Chinese: 何俊仁; born 1 December 1951) is a solicitor and politician in Hong Kong. He is the former chairman (2014–2019) and current vice-chair of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China,[1] and former chairman of the Democratic Party from 2006 to 2012. He is a solicitor and a former member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong for District Council (Second) constituency.

Albert Ho Chun-yan
Lee-cheuk-yan-confirmed-legco-by-election-candidacy-4 (cropped).jpg
Albert Ho in 2018
Chairman of the Democratic Party
In office
17 December 2006 – 10 September 2012
Preceded byLee Wing-tat
Succeeded byEmily Lau
Chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China
Assumed office
15 December 2014
DeputyRichard Tsoi
Mak Hoi-wah
Preceded byLee Cheuk-yan
Member of the Legislative Council
In office
11 October 1995 – 30 June 1997
Preceded byNew constituency
Succeeded byReplaced by Provisional Legislative Council
ConstituencyNew Territories West
In office
1 July 1998 – 30 September 2012
Preceded byNew parliament
Succeeded byKwok Ka-ki
ConstituencyNew Territories West
In office
1 October 2012 – 30 September 2016
Preceded byNew constituency
Succeeded byRoy Kwong
ConstituencyDistrict Council (Second)
Personal details
Born (1951-12-01) 1 December 1951 (age 69)
British Hong Kong
Political partyHong Kong Affairs Society (1985–90)
United Democrats (1990–94)
Democratic Party (since 1994)
Spouse(s)Tang Suk-yee
Alma materUniversity of Hong Kong
Albert Ho Chun-yan

Early life and educationEdit

Ho was born in what was then British Hong Kong on 1 December 1951 in a big family with six children. His father worked in a shipping company by day and as a translator by night, along with two other jobs that he had.[2] Ho got his Bachelor of Laws with honors in the University of Hong Kong in 1974, obtained Postgraduate Certificate in Laws in 1975.[3]

He attended lectures given by Hsu Kwan-san, a Chinese historian who later became a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, whom Ho cited his political belief and Chinese national sentiment were influenced by. During his college life, he developed his liberal ideals and actively involved in student politics and campaigned for Mak Hoi-wah who ran for the Hong Kong University Students' Union against the Maoist nationalists who dominated the student union in the 1970s.

Legal and early political careerEdit

Ho got admission to practice law in 1977 and appointed a notary public of the common law in 1988. He was employed for Messrs. C.Y. Kwan & Co. as a solicitor for nearly 20 years, then left to set up his own law firm, Ho, Tse, Wai & Partners. His litigation experience varied from banking cases and commercial law to land law and matrimonial disputes, as well as in criminal and medical negligence cases. Albert Ho worked a number of human rights cases on a pro bono (undertaken voluntarily and without payment) for the pan-democracy camp.[3]

Ho stepped into politics when he was first appointed to the Kowloon City District Board from 1982 to 1983.[3] In 1985 he co-founded the Hong Kong Affairs Society (HKAS) to participate in the electoral politics during the transition period. During his spell as the leader of the HKAS, he demanded the faster pace of democratisation in Hong Kong and safeguarding the freedom and lifestyles after the handover of Hong Kong to Mainland China after 1997. In 1989, he co-founded the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China to support the Tiananmen protests of 1989 and critical of the Beijing government's bloody crackdown. He became the third chairman of the alliance since 2014, succeeding Lee Cheuk-yan.

He ran for the Urban Council in Kowloon City West in the 1986 municipal election but was defeated by incumbent Peter Chan Chi-kwan. He ran again in the 1991 Urban Council election in Southern District but was again lost to incumbent Joseph Chan Yuet-sut of the conservative Liberal Democratic Federation of Hong Kong. He was elected to the Regional Council in the municipal elections in 1995, receiving the largest number of votes in Regional Council.[3] He kept served on the council through 1997 until it was abolished by then Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa in 2000.

He had also been member of the Tuen Mun District Council for Lok Tsui since the 1999 District Council election. He had been targeted by the radical democrats, including Albert Chan of the People Power in the 2011 District Council election who opposed Democrats' compromise with the Beijing officials on the 2012 constitutional reform proposals and in the 2015 District Council election by Civic Passion's Cheng Chung-tai. He kept the seat for 15 years but was defeated in 2015 by pro-Beijing lawyer Junius Ho in 2015 by a narrow margin of 277 votes.

Legislative CouncillorEdit

In April 1990, Ho and other pro-democracy activists co-founded the United Democrats of Hong Kong (UDHK), the first major pro-democracy party in the city, in which he became the founding vice chairman. The party transformed into today's Democratic Party in 1994 where he was the member of the party's first executive committee. In 1992, he ran for the by-election in New Territories West as his first attempt to the Legislative Council after incumbent Democrat Ng Ming-yum died of cancer. He was defeated by conservative rural leader Tang Siu-tong by only four percent of the votes. He ran again in New Territories West in 1995 Legislative Council election, receiving 54 percent of the popular vote.

He stepped down from the colonial legislature on 30 June 1997 on the eve of the handover of Hong Kong after the Beijing government dismantled the "through train" agreement of allowing the 1995 elected legislature to transition beyond 1997. The Democratic Party boycotted the Provisional Legislative Council controlled by Beijing and refused to take part in it. In November 1997, Ho was nominated by the Democratic Party to run for a seat in the National People's Congress, but excluded from competition when failed to obtain the minimum number of nominations from the 400-strong Beijing-appointed election conference.[3]

In the first Legislative Council election of the SAR period in 1998, Ho won a seat in the New Territories West with his party colleague Lee Wing-tat. With his strong basis in his strategic district Tuen Mun, he was re-elected in 2000 with one of the three Democratic Party tickets. Albert Chan who had strong basis in Tsuen Wan was also elected on the expense of Lee Wing-tat. Ho was re-elected in 2004. After the election, he unsuccessfully challenged Rita Fan in the Legco presidential election.

On 20 August 2006, Ho was assaulted by three unidentified men using baseball bats and a baton[4] in a McDonald's restaurant in Central, Hong Kong, after he had attended a protest against the government's plan to adopt a Goods and Services Tax. He suffered injuries to his head, arm and face, including a broken nose.[5]

Democratic Party ChairmanEdit

Between 2004 and 2006 he was the vice chairman of the Democratic Party. In December 2006, he was elected as party chairman in the leadership election, defeating Chan King-ming of the reformist faction. Under his spell, the party absorbed Emily Lau's The Frontier in 2008.

In June 2010, he led the Democratic Party delegation to the Liaison Office to negotiate the electoral reform package with the representatives of the Beijing government, for the first time since the 1989 Tiananmen massacre. The Beijing government eventually accepted the Democratic Party's modified proposal to allow five new directly elected District Council (Second) seats.[6] The compromise sparked extreme discontent among the radical democrats and created a major unrest among the pan-democracy camp. He was challenged by radical democrat legislator Albert Chan in his Lok Tsui constituency in the following 2011 District Council election and barely retained his seat.

In the 2012 Legislative Council election, Albert Ho ran in the newly created District Council (Second) constituency and was elected with 228,840 votes. However, his party continued being attacked from the radical democrats and received the worst results in history, retaining only six seats. Ho resigned as party chairman right after the election results came out and was taken over by Emily Lau as acting chairwoman.

2012 Chief Executive bidEdit

Albert Ho announced on 4 October 2011 that he would stand in the 2012 Chief Executive election, which is elected in a small-circle election dominated by pro-Beijing members.[7] Having won the pan-democratic primary against Frederick Fung of the ADLP on 8 January 2012,[8] Ho ran against the two pro-Beijing candidates, ex-convenor of the Executive Council Leung Chun-ying and former Chief Secretary Henry Tang. Out of the 1,132 EC votes, Albert Ho came third with only 76; Leung Chun-ying was elected with 689 votes.[9]

Snowden incidentEdit

In 2013, Ho grabbed international headlines after it was revealed that he had assisted Edward Snowden during the latter's stay in Hong Kong.[10]

2014 Hong Kong protestsEdit

In October 2014, during pro-democracy protests that began on 26 September, Albert Ho said he was prepared to take a bullet if demonstrations turned violent. He did not support violence in the cause of democracy, but was willing to make a "sacrifice" on behalf of young people "because the future belongs to them."[11]

Life after tenure as a member of the Legislative CouncilEdit

2019–20 Hong Kong protestsEdit

Albert Ho, current chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, took part in the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests on 9 June 2019

Albert Ho continued to support the pro-democracy movement, and took part in a Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests.[12] On 18 April 2020, Ho was one of 15 Hong Kong high-profile democracy figures arrested on suspicion of organizing, publicizing or taking part in several unauthorized assemblies between August and October 2019 in the course of the anti-extradition bill protests.[13][14]

Ho was attacked by a group of men armed with metal rods at around 7pm in Tin Hau on 19 September 2019 as he exited Tin Hau MTR station. He was followed by a black-clad group and beaten.[15] Soon thereafter, several politicians from the pro-democracy camp – notably Roy Kwong, Stanley Ho Wai-hang of the Labour Party and Leung Kai-Qing were also attacked in the street. The involvement of organised crime was suspected by the Hong Kong Police Force.[16][17] Stanley Ho suffered broken bones in both hands and a head laceration that required stitches.[17]

CCP imposition of HK national security legislationEdit

Soon after the June 2020 imposition of the Hong Kong national security law by the PRC Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, Ho announced to The Daily Telegraph that he feared that "people like him" may face "difficulties in the times to come" as global banks like Credit Suisse, HSBC, Julius Baer and UBS were in the process of "broadening scrutiny" to "screen clients for political and government ties" and subjecting pro-democrats to "additional diligence requirements". Said Ho: "There’s not much you can do, actually, unless you cease all your financial and banking activities in Hong Kong."[18]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "全年工作及財務報告". Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China. Archived from the original on 28 June 2020. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  2. ^ Leung, Jan. "Albert Ho Chun-yan". HK Magazine.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Albert Ho Chun-yan".
  4. ^ "Baseball bat attack on MP at democracy rally". Archived from the original on 13 March 2007. Retrieved 2006-08-21.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link), The Scotsman, 20 August 2006
  5. ^ SCMP, South China Morning Post article, "Assailant thumps lawmaker and shoves banana in his face". Retrieved 26 October 2008.
  6. ^ Cheers and jeers for political reform vote, South China Morning Post, Gary Cheung, Albert Wong and Fanny WY Fung, 25 June 2010
  7. ^ (in Chinese)何俊仁擬選特首 搞全民投票 Oriental Daily. 5 October 2011.
  8. ^ Lee, Diana. (13 December 2011). Pan-democrat camp ready for next fight Archived 8 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine The Standard.
  9. ^ Kaiman, Jonathan (25 March 2012). "Thousands protest pick for Hong Kong executive post". Los Angeles Times Archived from the original on 25 March 2012.
  10. ^ Lam, Lana (24 June 2013). "Hong Kong lawyer Albert Ho says 'middleman' urged Snowden to leave". South China Morning Post.
  11. ^ Ed Flanagan & Alastair Jamieson (2 October 2014). "Hong Kong's Albert Ho: I Will Take A Bullet For Democracy ". NBC News.
  12. ^ 申华; 谭嘉琪 (9 June 2019). "抗议港府修订逃犯条例 香港爆发近空前规模大游行". Voice of America, Chinese (in Chinese). Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  13. ^ Yu, Elaine; Ramzy, Austin (18 April 2020). "Amid Pandemic, Hong Kong Arrests Major Pro-Democracy Figures". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  14. ^ Wong, Rachel (18 April 2020). "15 Hong Kong pro-democracy figures arrested in latest police round up". Hong Kong Free Press. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  15. ^ Cheng, Kris (19 November 2019). "Former Hong Kong lawmaker Albert Ho attacked". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  16. ^ 鄭榕笛 (19 November 2019). "【何俊仁遇襲】民主派:兇徒尾隨至橫街施襲 明顯有組織犯事". 香港01 (in Chinese). Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Attack on second pan-dem". The Standard (Hong Kong), The Standard Newspapers Publishing Ltd. 30 September 2019.
  18. ^ "Global banks scrutinise their Hong Kong clients for pro-democracy ties". Telegraph Media Group Limited. 20 July 2020.
Party political offices
New political party Vice Chairperson of United Democrats of Hong Kong
With: Yeung Sum
Merged into Democratic Party
Preceded by
Lau Chin-shek
Vice Chairperson of Democratic Party
With: Yeung Sum
Succeeded by
Law Chi-kwong
Lee Wing-tat
Preceded by
Law Chi-kwong
Vice Chairperson of Democratic Party
With: Lee Wing-tat (2002–2004)
Chan King-ming (2004–2006)
Succeeded by
Sin Chung-kai
Tik Chi-yuen
Preceded by
Lee Wing-tat
Chairperson of Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Emily Lau
Legislative Council of Hong Kong
Preceded by
Tang Siu-tong
Member of Legislative Council
Representative for New Territories West
Replaced by Provisional Legislative Council
New parliament Member of Legislative Council
Representative for New Territories West
Succeeded by
Kwok Ka-ki
New constituency Member of Legislative Council
Representative for District Council (Second)
Succeeded by
Roy Kwong
Political offices
Preceded by
Lo Chun-hung
Member of Tuen Mun District Council
Representative for Lok Tsui
Succeeded by
Junius Ho
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Lee Cheuk-yan
Chairman of the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China