The grandmother of an 12-year-old undocumented boy, Siu Yau-wai, returned to Hong Kong from mainland China this morning to report bail, claiming she would later attempt to have her grandson return to the city legally.
Chow Siu-shuen, who arrived at the Immigration Department’s Kowloon offices unaccompanied by lawyers or lawmakers, said Yau-wai was now being looked after by his grandfather until her return to Shenzhen this afternoon.
Chow, 67, said she recently visited the city of Shantou in Guangdong province to get in touch with the boy’s father, who had passed her his mainland documents. “I have applied for a mainland identity card for [Yau-wai],” she said.
With the mainland identity card, she would then apply for a two-way permit for the boy to come back to Hong Kong, Chow said.
Chow said that for more than 10 days she had been holed up with her grandson in a run-down guesthouse in Luohu district of Shenzhen, and were sustaining themselves on her monthly old-age pension.
The drama began last month when Chow and Yau-wai’s case was brought to light at a controversial press conference organised by Federation of Trade Unions’ lawmaker Chan Yuen-han.
The case immediately sparked polarised reactions in the city, with some radical groups calling for Yau-wai's deportation and sympathisers calling for the immigration department to exercise discretion and let him stay.
Chow then made a surprise decision in early June to voluntarily have Yau-wai repatriated to the mainland.
She claimed an FTU staff member had told her that Yau-wai’s parents had been found by mainland officials, and that they will be waiting at the Lo Wu border to reunite with him that day. No one showed up at the border to meet the boy and his grandmother.
The FTU has denied the allegations. The federation last week said it was still willing to help Chow if she will be honest with them. But Chow has lashed out at the federation for using them for political purposes and said she regretted seeking their help.
Meanwhile, Chow admitted to Cable TV yesterday that she had indeed met with Yau-wai’s mother – her daughter – three times. She had previously said they were out of touch completely.