Monday, 23 February 2015

Chan Ya-ming: Lau Nai-keung - Forerunner of Hong Kong Independence

Lau Nai-keung - Forerunner of Hong Kong Independence 
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Written by Chan Ya-ming (former editor in The Undergrad, HKUSU)
Original: http://localpresshk.com/2015/02/forerunner-of-hong-kong-independence/ 

My friend sent me the remarks of Lau Nai-keung a while ago, but I almost forgot to write about this because of the plan of withdrawal from HKFS. And, I almost forgot to thank Lau Nai-keung, the CPPCC deputy, for bringing this up. We are not the only cohort of The Undergrad which mentioned "Hong Kong independence" (HKI). It is not unusual to see previous Undergrad members writing about HKI.

But have you every imagined Lau Nai-keung was also part of the "previous Undergrad members"? In 1969, Lau was the then assistant editor-in-chief, Chan Yuen-ying (the current Director of Journalism and Media Studies Centre, HKU [Translator's note: political stance - pro-China]) was the Editor-in-chief, and guess who is the publication secretary? Yes, the one who spends his lunar new year in jail, Rafael Hui (spelt as Raphael then). Quite unimaginable even now.

An article in 1969 The Undergrad, "From Refugees to the Independence of Hong Kong", wrote,
So-called intellectuals immediately rejected and said "it's impossible" when they hear HKI. But let us ask ourselves: this "impossible" might mean - technically it would be the best if it happens, but there are many technical difficulties, which are impossible to overcome. One might stop such imagination. Such view is but unrealistic self-deception.
Such perspective is so precise, and still valid, as it mentioned the mentality of Hongkongers towards HKI. And it continued, "If Hong Kong has to be connected with China, it is just an emotional need. It brings more harm than good, and independence is the best." This is what now the localists support - "HK-China Segregation", and such idea was in discussion four decades ago.

The author of this article signed his name as Wah Sau [Translator's note: A Cantonese idiom 狼過華秀隻狗 roughly means "More fierce than the dog of Wah Sau", a phrase to describe a person's aggressiveness and fierceness.]. Of course we cannot determine whether he wrote this article or not. But if he is the assistant editor-in-chief, then it had something to do with Lau if this article goes to print. Actually, it is no big deal to mention HKI. The Undergrad had much more radical views before, and one needs not to react so strongly to this.

As a forerunner of mentioning HKI in 1969 The Undergrad, Lau is now often mentioning The Undergrad on Ta Kung Pao or Wen Wei Po. He actually mentioned it four decades ago, and is it something new for him?

Although Lau said "to HKI supporters, the government has to be tough 'orally and physically'", kind of bringing white terror, that cohort of The Undergrad members enlightened the latter members on the courage and imagination of mentioning HKI. They had contributed a lot. I must thank Mr. Lau Nai-keung for his contribution in mentioning HKI! Please let him know that I have expressed my sincere gratitude!

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