Knife attack on TV host rocks Hong Kong

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The Independent Online
HONG KONG reacted angrily yesterday to a bloody attack on a prominent talk show hostand urged police to hunt down his two knife- wielding assailants.

Albert Cheng, renowned for his acid tongue, was attacked on Wednesday in broad daylight by two men with carving knives who left him with six deep wounds. Doctors say Mr Cheng, who had to have six hours of surgery to repair broken bones in his right arm and nerves in his right arm and leg, is recovering.

"He is in intensive care and has regained consciousness. His condition is stable and he is recovering well," a spokeswoman at Queen Elizabeth Hospital said. But tests are needed to establish if he will ever regain full use of his hands, she added.

Mr Cheng was attacked outside a radio station in Kowloon just before he was to go on air for his popular daily show. It shocked this territory of 6.6 million people and provoked a storm of condemnation.

"We have a society which gives great emphasis to the rule of law ... This [violence] is obviously unacceptable and this will not be tolerated," Hong Kong's leader, Tung Chee-hwa, said yesterday.

The Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor said: "If a journalist is physically assaulted for performing his duty it is not simply a matter of personal misfortune, it symbolises an attack on the freedom of expression of the community."

Motives for the attack were unknown. A police spokeswoman said the case was being handled by the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau.

Mr Cheng was rated in a Time magazine poll last year as one of the 25 most influential Hong Kong personalities. Mr Cheng emigrated to Canada in 1968 when he became disillusioned with China's Cultural Revolution. He returned to Hong Kong in 1984 to launch the Chinese-language version of Playboy as well as the business magazine Capital, which made him a fortune.

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