Apple Daily News Hong Kong
Sources: Apple Daily, Headline News, Local Press, Ming Pao, Passion Times, South China Morning Post and VJMedia
The case of Xiao Youhuai*, who stayed in Hong Kong illegally nine years past his tourist visa expiry date, were brought to light after Chan Yuen-han, legislator from the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions held a press conference on 21 May, 2015.
At the press conference, Chow Siu-suen (67), who claimed to be Xiao’s grandmother, said that Xiao’s father had a limb amputated after an accident rendering him unable to work, and Xiao’s mother suffered from breast cancer, hence no one was looking after Xiao and she “smuggled” him to Hong Kong by using a fake Hukou when he was three years old. On the day of the press conference Hong Kong’s Immigration Department granted Xiao a temporary permit to stay in Hong Kong, while Confucian Tai Shing Primary School asked Xiao for an admission interview.
Screen grab: iCable Source: VJ Media
Xiao’s case drew significant attention in Hong Kong not only because Xiao had been living in Hong Kong illegally for nine years, but also because the unusually fast response from the Immigration Department and the primary school: This preternaturally slick response has raised suspicions amongst Hongkongers.
Chow said in the press conference that because Xiao was an illegal immigrant, she did not send him to school nor take him to the Immigration Department throughout the entire nine years of his stay. She also said that Xiao never left home because he feared that he would be repatriated if he was ever caught by the police.
Netizens across Hong Kong began to raise questions about Xiao: Golden Forum was one of the first groups that identified Xiao and a video of Xiao beating up other young children outside a video game arcade in his neighbourhood went viral. Many also shared photos of him hanging out in a public housing estate and testified that Xiao has been out and about every day – contradicting ‘grandmother’ Chow’s statements.