Arnold Fang: For HKers who have shut themselves out of the real HK quite some time

For HKers who have shut themselves out of the real HK quite some time
Translated by Karen L., Written by Arnold Fang
Original: https://www.facebook.com/notes/10152597967330676/ 

Read this or not?

Dear readers, 
If you are capable of recognising "離地" (Translator's note: lei4 dei6, "ex-situ" in English, is a term originally describing things that are off the ground. But now it is used to describe that although people are living in HK, they do not know much about the reality of HK, or as the title suggests, they chose to "shut themselves out of the real HK") or know yourself well enough excluding in this category, you are not mainly targeted for this article. Yet, it would be nice if you could share this article to anyone who might need to construct understanding of this concept and the related issues. 

For the target audience of this article, you may either have been living a relatively comfortable life in an "ex-situ" manner or centring your daily activities stably in Hong Kong while shutting yourselves away morally from this city - Regardless of its changes, the political system remains irrelevant of your interest as long as it doesn't get in your way directly.

The following is my letter to Hong Kong. You will be informed that the real Hong Kong is distinctly far from what you've thought you know. And what messages you've been receiving may solely reflect opinions of a few individuals or part of the issue of this community. This article is also written to bring you a piece of advice. 

Mainstream media's interpretation of "defiance" 

In your minds, Hong Kong may go into a messy track these days. Last week, the media covered the story in which protesters stormed the LegCo building. For the "whys", your unfavorable perception on these aggressive scenes might overrule your objectivity to penetrate the dense fog before judgement. Demonstrators are condemned by your kind of their radical behaviours requesting for government's response. 

I'd been there in person. The extensive coverage of "radical" actions happened only for 2-3 minutes in real world, carried out by a few individuals among all protesters. What didn't capture media was the rest of the protesters, who sat peacefully within the protest zone for the whole time. Not even slightly touched the breach of law, these protesters were also dragged away by the police force. Some even said that they were removed from the area and were treated violently afterwards. How many of these "side stories" have been seen in the public eye?

What does "defiance" stand for and what doesn't? The definition in our heads, mostly forms after media's screening. For what you and I know are inevitably insufficient if we're not involved physically. It may need to take more than time to know one's sense of mission and it may be hard to imagine that every single step we've made started from the moment we walk out of our doorsteps is a step of defiance. Why, exactly why do we have to choose living in such a miserable way?

What if we don’t fight against the existing unjustified situation?

The chaos happened in last week derives from the system's injustice. The council is here to make decisions important enough to affect the whole city, however, dominance position shared by pro-Beijing camp and business sector are created in the design of the current election system. These supporting voices added with Mainland China's actual economic and power penetration, is expected to overwhelm local's needs and wants. The locals' thoughts are not going to be heard. 

Recently, increasing members of pro-Beijing camp in both LegCo and District Board are recorded. Yet it's an extreme case for the pan-democracy camp. Elements causing the situation can be analysed as full support given to pan-Beijing camp and gradual split evolved from political divergence within pan-democracy camp through years of struggles. For the latter element, I'll describe it as 17 years of exhaustion.

Right now, we're discussing certain political reform for the future including selecting Chief Executive in 2017 and electing LegCo counsellors through full democracy in 2020. These two, can be the twist of the injustice deeply rooted in our system. But while the government advocates their slogan "Let's Talk and Achieve Universal Suffrage", they have been acting the other round - shutting many suggested schemes out of the discussion. The government has insisted that only Chief Executive candidates be nominated by a "nominating committee" is an appropriate manner complying with Basic Law.

But here’s the problem: How will this "nominating committee" be constructed? What kind of committees will they bring us, the ones supported by the citizens or those accepted by the central government only?

Everything is in the details which need further discussions. Somehow the government set "a definitive tone" to kill the other possibilities even before the time to reach conclusion. 

Whether the political reform will bring us an election system with full democracy or a controlled pseudo-democratic system? After all, it depends on ourselves. If we simply give it up, all we'll have is a system designed according to the authority's will. Isn't it unfair to citizens?

Put your knowledge and wisdom in a right position: fight for it and spread this message widely

Some of you may think you have no obligation to safeguard and improve Hong Kong political system as you no longer live here. But for your family and friends who still set their lives in Hong Kong and for your empathy to bring people happiness through a rather complete political system, you should do something.

And some of you may have a rather stable life in Hong Kong or you may not need this government to do anything for you. But this, is not an issue in personal font, but for everybody in the city. And signs are there that the deep-rooted structural imbalance is becoming harder to solve than ever. If you’re tired to hearing any defiance voices again, you’ll have the obligation with you to make sure the justice and fairness are to be practiced in the council and that people have their representatives to speak up for them. Only in this way will the policy discussion afterwards be underwent in a civilised way. 

In the following week, Hong Kong citizens can express their views on the yet-to-come political system through online referendum. Even the options over there are still limited in this stage, this is a chance for us to emphasis the importance of possessing an election system which lives up to international standards.

For Hongkongers located in Hong Kong, please take some time (a 2-minute video) to look at your options, and vote within 20-29 June.

For those who presently located in other places, who isn't included as voters, please share the message of the importance of an efficient election system to your family and friends and encourage them to vote. 

For whom who have helped or voted after reading this article, you all owe a debt of gratitude of us. 

1 comment:

  1. Many years ago I read Stephen Vines' book titled Hong Kong: China's New Colony. In the book he states that before the 1997 handover, around 1000 people were leaving HK every week. Emigrating to countries like Canada, US, UK and Australia.
    Since then, upon seeing HKers protesting, and seeing HK's basic law and freedoms being slowly eroded, I wonder, if those people who left HK stayed in HK, would HK be a different place now?
    It's obvious that the people who left knew that as they had a choice, life would be better living in a western democratic country than under "communist" China. They were right.

    But, what strikes me as hard to understand is did they really care about HK? If they liked what HK was, and not what it was going to become (what it is now) then surely they had some element of appreciation of what their home was. So when I consider if the HKers who left from the period of 1984-1997 (and after) stayed in HK and helped fight for the future of HK, then maybe HK would be a different place.
    Perhaps nothing would of changed, but I can't help to imagine that if they protested, demanded more say in whatever policies and political agreements were being made between UK and China, would it of made a difference?

    I know one could argue that during that time, the average HKer wouldn't have such a deep knowledge of politics or how the people can fight for their rights. After all, Britain governed HK from afar and let the people get about their daily business. There wasn't much direct political action for the locals and their government.

    One could also point out that many HKers are linked to the mainland, not only because of their ancestors but because they escaped from China during the Great Leap froward, the Cultural Revolution and 1989 Tiananmen protests. People on the mainland knew that HK was more stable and much more developed. All the people who came to HK for whatever reason, were coming to get away from the communists, escaping to lead better lives. So when considering this, it's no wonder that these same people who fled China to HK, would now once again flee to a more politically and economically stable democratic country.

    This has been on my mind for a while, nice to get it out.
    I'm a British citizen, in case you were wondering. I only have a Google account to post this comment.