28 February 2015

Wing Wing: Destroyers of Ancient Civilisation

Destroyers of Ancient Civilisation
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Edited by Vivian L., Written by 翼雙飛 (Wing Wing)
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/02-27-2015/21438 


ISIS terrorists released a video on YouTube on 26 Feb, saying that the Prophet Mohammed ordered them to get rid of the statues and relics in the Mosul Museum in Iraq. Statues  and artefacts with 3,000 years of history were smashed with sledgehammers and electric drill; broken pieces shattered over the floor. Over 100,000 manuscripts and books were burnt, Observer reported.

Countless relics, monuments and books had been destroyed by tyrants and warfare throughout the history of mankind. If you look at examples in Chinese history, the oldest is probably Qin Shihuang's "burning of books and burying of scholars"; Cultural Revolution is another winner if you look at more recent times. In the Cemetery of Confucius, not a single piece of ancient stone tablet is currently intact -- all has once seen varying degrees of sabotage. But those are the lucky ones -- you can still somehow restore the carvings by putting the pieces together. But many other historical artefacts have suffered a fate far worse: thanks to the Cultural Revolution, many ancient architecture, antiquities and books have virtually vanished into thin air.

When a person dies, one's intellect ceases to exist; what's left of one's existence is one's works, where one's thoughts and ideas are carried through to generations beyond his own. Among all creatures, human beings are the only species who consciously keep artefacts that were passed down by their ancestors, and who are willing to even risk their lives for the sake of preserving these embodiment of humankind's wisdom. People hid books at the risk of their lives during the Cultural Revolution; and now there are "protectors of ancient civilisation" who dedicate themselves in saving manuscripts and antique in Syria.

Human beings are different from animals because we do not only aim at fulfilling physiological needs, we strive for esteem and self-actualisation, in Maslow's words. We pass on books written by our ancestors, as they are meaningful for our children. We pass on artworks that portrayed our times to our children who then pass on to children of their own, so that they can appreciate and understand the times of their fathers and mothers. We maintain and protect exquisite architectures, as they are built by our ancestors, and our offspring can learn from them. Without them carrying our wisdom, how can knowledge be accumulated? How can history be remembered?

You might wonder, ISIS is far away from Hong Kong; the Cultural Revolution is already half a century ago -- how do these things matter us? Yes, they certainly do--because the exact same thing is happening in Hong Kong. In the MTR Shatin-Central Link construction site at To Kwa Wan, excavation unearthed an ancient well and numerous historical artefacts dated back to Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1276-1368) dynasties. But MTR has rejected the in-situ conservation proposal to keep the monuments exactly where they are located because of the extra cost and time incurred to preserve the site while the construction continues. MTR also admitted to having destroyed four wells and over two hundred relics so far. Although the Antique and Monument Office (AMO) said they have recorded before the destruction of such monuments, they failed to notify the public until such incident was reported. How meaningful or not meaningful are those monument? AMO might not even know, because we will never be able to restore the destroyed monuments.

Too many invaluable monuments had been destroyed, and what we can do is to sigh. If we did the same mistake, if we care only about "money" and "progress", so much that we rob our future generations of irreplaceable pieces of history only to build a new railway line, how then would we face our next generation?

26 February 2015

Atsuna: Why Do Chinese Suffer From Global Discrimination?

Why Do Chinese Suffer From Global Discrimination?
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Written by Atsuna
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/02-25-2015/21402 

(Reads: Arrogant locusts; not considerate, get lost!)
(Source: aTV)
Chinese people are good at “the pot calling the kettle black”.

Such country (which “rule by law” is above all) is more than eager to teach Hongkongers “rule of law”. The party is above the country; politics supersedes everything in China; yet they are criticising Hong Kong being ‘over-politicised’. The incident of Eugenia Ye, the failed proposed social secretary of Smarties (HKUSU), was criticised as ‘politicising universities’; combatting smugglers in Shatin and Tuen Mun was criticised as ‘political stance superseding rationality’. Later, condemnations towards urination or defecation might be criticised as being too ‘politicised’.

It would be too troublesome if everything has to be politicised. But CCP treats Hong Kong as a colony (though dare not to admit), and HKSARG plans to betray Hong Kong under its manipulation, being politicises is actually a way to protect ourselves. Chinese people felt otherwise, because the Newspeak of CCP does not only abbreviate things, but also distort meaning of words. "Wenming" (文明) is not being civilised, but rather not to be “locusts”; "lingdao" (領導) has nothing to do with leadership, but chiefs who can earn extra benefits and bribes; so, “politicised” does not really matter to political stances, but rather, a synonym of “discriminating we Chinese”.

There are a lot of rich people, and they are not stingy at all. But they might wonder, “Why am I hailed in China when I spend a lot, but despised in anywhere else?” Some rules are implicated when you want to earn money in China – the core one being “having guanxi”. If you want to have guanxi, you flatter your superior. They are well-trained as they are guanxi masters when they drink a lot. Hongkongers lose in this aspect. But when they are out of such jungle of money, they know few about the real world.

They don’t know why Tibet is poor but westerners still welcome Dalai Lama; why Japanese are always reporting the adulterated food; why Hongkongers are not accommodating enough to allow them to urinate and defecate. They live in a country where normal logic does not work. When you are censored in every aspect, all common sense are no longer common. Democracy, human rights, rule of law, public hygiene, transaction are not almsgiving – they might have heard of these but might not understand. So they cover up their ignorance with void reasons. So even if China rises, they might be the most susceptible Hercules. If you disagree with them or say something they can’t understand, “it’s discrimination”.

In the Shatin anti-smuggler protest, Ms Chen from Shenzhen said that those who oppose smugglers are “angry teens” (fenqing 憤青), and those who oppose Individual Visit Scheme are miso-affluent. She does not know the GDP per capita of China is 7 000 USD, but that of Hong Kong is 38 000 USD. During the Umbrella Revolution, Chinese ate their melon seeds inside the “GFW” and said “these are schemes by foreign forces”. You have to know, ignorant people like to express their views too, but they just don’t know what they are talking about.

Lewis Loud: Pan-dems Should Exterminate Themselves As HK's Survival Ranks First

Pan-dems Should Exterminate Themselves As HK's Survival Ranks First
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Edited by Karen L., Written by Lewis Loud
Original: http://dadazim.com/journal/2015/01/die-and-reborn/ 



"It is a menace for the ones who are endangering the society to cheat death." says Confucius. Martin Lee and the last-generation politicians all fall into this category. Up to the present day, Martin Lee still sticks to his all-time standing dish, saying that Xi Jinping, with de facto power, is dedicated to reform, which makes Lee himself "hold a gleam of hope" over CCP's concession on the matter of Hong Kong's constitutional reform. Enough is enough. This aloof-from-the-reality politician should better stay retired, but rather be such a menace in the society ever again.

During the class boycott in September 2014, Martin Lee said to the Hongkongers, "The democracy you're now fighting for is not only for HK but also for the 1.3 billion people in mainland China." People like Martin Lee and Szeto Wah who are either underground CCP members or people born without clearheaded minds support democratic reunification. They claimed that Hkers owe it to the mainlanders to do so since we were lucky to escape from the disasters under PRC's regime. These politicians have contributed quite a lot on China's plan gobbling up HK.

In 1989, these "democratic reunificationists" were expecting the "reform and opening up" being led by the "open-minded faction" of Zhao Ziyang, so that China and Hong Kong could share democracy and freedom. Those students from the patriotic universities were too naive to ask these questions in the letter to Zhao, such as "Will there be democracy after the 'reunification'?" This is a remarkable pathetic page of Hong Kong history. You may wonder what connected "anti-colonialism", "patriotism" and "democratic reunification" all together. The answer is the Chinese-style servility — "No matter whatever it takes, virtuous leaders will appear someday to uphold the justice and to solve all problems for good."

These "democratic reunificationists" were more than happy to see "reunification", and to wait for China's fulfillment the pledge of implementing democracy in Hong Kong, though such promise is supposedly not happening anyhow. Just as Zhao Ziyang who was knocked down at home for the rest of his life, democracy within China is but a flash in the pan. Democratic reunificationists, democrats and the bunch of people from the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) have thus lost their reputation. 

They have been pro-China from the very beginning which justify their opposition over HKers participation in the 1980s' negotiation — Due to the blind belief of the hierarchy of Chinese ethics that takes a virtuous leader to decide everything else.

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China (HKASPDM) gained support sticking it to the Tian'anmen Massacre. Recently. The organisation recently launched a zero-awareness petition campaign to mourn Zhao Ziyang. This is how their ideology works — Crying for Zhao Ziyang, the "open-minded" leader who once almost had the chance to become a virtuous leader. Some of the members from the organisation become politicians, and claimed that they will fight for the democracy of HK. This is nothing but a lie, an utter lie.

The pan-democrats in Hong Kong are standing still on their stance — supporting China in "an open-minded manner", in which they cry for the Tian'anmen Massacre and support "rebuilding a democratic China". When the human rights activists in China praise them, they are happy as a clam. When the colonisation and bullying of Hong Kong is undergoing, they rather choose to pretend nothing has ever happened, or worse, rebuking Hongkongers in return.

D100, media ally of pan-democrats, even said "If Chow Yun-fat becomes the Chief Executive, will you 'pocket it first'?". In their logic, the system is nothing at all and what matters is the presence of a good emperor. From HKASPDM to pan-dems, HKFS, D100, to Leung Kwok-hung (Long Hair, the patriot who stayed under the pretext of Trotskyite) — no matter what the political spectrum of the pan-democrats in Hong Kong is, left or right, they all tend to stand in the side of infighting losers in China. To clarify in a clearer manner, Hong Kong is never taken into consideration all this time.

So, the action of Richard Tsoi, a member from HKASPDM and Democratic Party, reporting Hongkongers' "discriminating conduct" over mainlanders and "unduly exploitation" of local welfare resources to United Nations. To people as Tsoi, they are in the illusion of implementing their own "duty and obligation". Pan-democrats are but the remnants of the "open-minded faction" in PRC infightings. Now, Martin Lee and Apple Daily is still having fantasies towards CCP. The difference lies only on the change of subject, Xi Jinping instead of Zhao Ziyang, who is a genuine dictator. In the eyes of these blindly patriots, there are always hope towards a dictator turning into some sort of benevolent leader.

If the pan-democrats are not exterminated, Hong Kong will never be released from the bondage. Some who propose a more inclusive attitude towards pan-dems is in fact casting doubts on the right of Hong Kong autonomy. If these people, embracing the idea of emperor's regime should be regarded innocent, then what can still be left for the dignity of Hong Kong? None. Pan-dems should exterminate themselves as Hong Kong's survival ranks first.

24 February 2015

Law Pui-lam: Desinification and Hong Kong's Self-determination

Desinification and Hong Kong's Self-determination
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Edited by Vivian L., Written by Law Pui-lam
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/01-28-2015/20825 

(Photo Source: Reuters/BBC)
On 8th January 2015, I wrote "Desinification Is The Right Course" for my column on Passion Times. A reader said I failed to distinguish the party and the country, and that, the reader reckoned, was a common failing among localists. Apparently, this reader thinks that the CCP should be separated from China. I believe many people, especially those who are against the localism camp, think that the culprit of ruining China, Hong Kong and Taiwan is the Chinese Communist Party, not China. And we should rid the world of CCP, not of China.

When I was penning that article, I quoted an example from CCP's internal struggle. I pondered over the title and content of my piece, wondered whether it was best to eliminate any connotation of the Chinese Communist Party. In the end, I opted for de-sinicisation entirely as I concluded that one cannot talk about the wrong of the CCP without considering the wrong of sinicisation.

The problem of CCP is the problem of sinicisation
Technically, it seems reasonable to consider the party and the country as two separate entities. In short, the present China is ruled by the authoritarian CCP. We can overturn CCP, but we cannot overturn China.

But can we really separate CCP from China?

CCP seems to be easier to define, from the perspective of organisation or regime; but the concept of China is more complicated. In general, "China" is the country we talk about, but defining "a country" is much more difficult than that. [Translator's note: Country/nation/state are all 國家 guojia in Chinese.]

"Nations are notoriously difficult to define," George Kateb has claimed in his book Patriotism and Other Mistakes. In fact, the notion of "nation" includes tangible things such as territory, geographical landscape and historical sites; while it is also defined by people's memory, the history, culture, and interpersonal relationships (such as clans). According to Kateb, these memories, history, culture and interpersonal relationships are things that are glorified by the people and the subjective imagination of people.

Territory is more specific, but it is inherently bound to the ruling regime. Over the past 2,000 years, the boundaries of the Middle Kingdom have changed as the dynasties waxed and waned. The current mainland Chinese territory is the territory owned by the Chinese Communist Party - and the two are inescapably intertwined. That leaves the only things that can be ideologically separable from CCP being, perhaps, the geographical landscapes and the historical sites.

People might argue that the concept of China refers to things more intangible, like history, culture and interpersonal relationships. But these things are intricately tied to CCP as well.

Communism is a product of the West. But the workings of CCP, from organisations to operations, is closely connected to Chinese culture and interpersonal relationships. I have argued in my article "Impossible for China to Have A Democratic Regime", that the Chinese society, especially the interpersonal relationship in rural societies, is dominated by clans and families. In the landmark study of Chinese peasant society, China's Peasants, Potter and Potter also posited that the political struggles in rural China is but clan and family struggles. CCP has not changed the traditional interpersonal relationship, but rather it has carried the deep-rooted traditions forward. In fact, we can still understand the politics of CCP by considering the clanships among the cronies of Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang and Bo Xilai.

Governance with CCP characteristics
Such paternalistic clan culture translates as a top-down bureaucratic culture in the political sphere. "Parent-politics", or gerontocracy, not only had been the norm of Imperial China for thousands of years, it is also how CCP operates. We saw in 1989 Tiananmen mass movement that even Zhao Ziyang, the General Secretary of CCP at the time, the supreme high command of the party, had to succumb to Deng Xiaoping to call the shots!

Besides such interpersonal relationship, other cultural values are just as well deep-rooted. Some mainlanders I knew emigrated overseas to flee CCP. But when the subject of discussion falls on the legitimacy of Xinjiang to call for its independence as it has its own language, religion and culture, their dissent often are so hysterical that it borders on a complete loss of reason. During the Umbrella Revolution, I discussed the future of Hong Kong with a Chinese friend. He said mainlanders cannot fathom the idea of Hong Kong taking its political future in its own hands, not to mention being independent from China. Why so? It all boils down to "The Great Unity" invented by the Draconian emperor, Qin Shihuang.

"The Great Unity" has stirred up countless warfare and slaughters, as well as the prohibition of all regional and ethnical autonomy and self-determination. To realise "The Great Unity", CCP was adamant in taking back Hong Kong in 1997, and has been ever so fixated on seizing Taiwan. What is more horrid is that "The Great Unity" is not only a scheme of the rulers, but it is also shared by the common people. In fact, around the time of Hong Kong's handover in 1997, some Hongkongers joined the Chinese in demanding "reunification" and disapproving the proposal of an independent Hong Kong.

On the surface, the ideas of CCP and China seem separable. But examples above have already shown how closely tied the two are. When we are talk about "desinification", or proclaim that we are Hongkongers, and not Chinese, many still find it unacceptable. Kateb argued that what's at play is actually "patriotism" where a person identifies with his fellow countrymen, a certain group or a race.

It's more than just rejecting CCP
Yet, as Hong Kong's local identity blossoms, more and more Hongkongers identify themseleves as Hongkongers rather than Chinese, and support the idea of self-determination, Hongkongers are not merely rejecting the visible hand of CCP, but also demanding desinification--the removal of "Chineseness". These are all because Hongkongers are no longer contend with having an authoritarian regime that exercises parentalism over their heads, and dismiss "The Great Unity" altogether. Only when Hong Kong is desinicised can the city develop to be a rational, modern society and leap forward to the direction of nation-state.

Reference:
1. George Kateb (2006), Patriotism and Other Mistakes, New Haven: Yale University Press.
2. Sulamith Potter and Jack Potter (1990), China's Peasants: The Anthropology of a Revolution, New York: Cambridge University.

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!

16 February 2015

Chan Ya-ming: Dared to Be Separated - No Stress, No Reform in HKFS

Dared to Be Separated - No Stress, No Reform in HKFS
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Edited by Karen L., Written by Chan Ya-ming (HKFS full member, Year 3 student in HKU)
Original: http://localpresshk.com/2015/02/change/
Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution #umbrellarevolution #umbrellamovement #645z
(Photo source: Pasu Au Yeung)
[Translator's note: HKU has already withdrawn from HKFS at the time this article is fully translated. Even we cannot do anything to overrule the decision, it is vital for all of us to understand the whys, and what are in front of us, so that we can prepare ourselves to the challenges ahead.]

I have studied in HKU for several years, and this is my first time speaking as a full member of Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS). I almost forgot I have such an identity, so do many of my classmates in HKU. It is understandable though, as all HKU students become full members of HKFS automatically since day one there, and the fees are handed yearly as a habit, so naturally it comes a born-to-be identity that no one realise its existence.

The referendum on whether HKU students should withdraw from HKFS makes us all think upon the following two questions which I suppose there is no easy answer to many: What is HKFS? What are the rights being a HKFS full member? Truth be told, before the withdrawal discussion started, I, too, have no idea where the answers lie. But now, as a member member, I hope the following I am about to say can shed light on the matter, so that you vote according to the sense.

Most students started to realise there is an organisation called HKFS since 28th September 2014 but only a few precisely understand its system. For the test of the people, the impression over HKFS merely focuses on the "Five Leaders of HKFS". On the stage of the occupied area, they spoke with moral halo. At the time, their halo, so as their authority were unprecedented. But the question is, where does their authority come from? Theoretically, it should be empowered by us, the full members. But when and in what ways did we empower them with such authority?

Sec-Gen: Generated by Coterie Election
The "Five Leaders" include Alex Chow (Secretary-General), Lester Shum (Vice-Sec-Gen) and Eason Chung Yiu-wah (Standing Secretary of the Secretariat), combined with Yvonne Leung and Nathan Law (both chief spokespersons), who are elected as the presidents of the Student Union in HKU and Lingnan U respectively. Being not the presidents of the Student Union, the former three from the Secretariat which I assume most members have no idea what it is somehow hold the main titles. Why?

According to HKFS's Charter, the Secretariat is the supreme organ of the HKFS. Metaphorically speaking, the Secretariat is the counterpart of the HK government, and the Sec-Gen acts as the role of the Chief Executive of HKSAR. Knowing that the Secretariat is such powerful, it leads to another question — Were Chow, Shum and Chung elected for the positions? No. Before 28th September 2014, I believe most students in HKU do not know who is Lester Shum nor Eason Chung.

A Sec-Gen, without the foundation of a legitimate electorate, bearing potent responsibility on not only the enforcement of certain decisions, but also decision-making itself, resembles the selection of the CE. At the time when Alex Chow was elected as a Sec-Gen, he received some 60 votes — much lower than 689 (CY Leung). How embarrassing it is for an organ pursuing democracy?  Who were the voters? Ordinary members like you and I were not given the right to vote, but only the Delegation of HKUSU and other schools' SU have such a privilege.

The delegation of HKUSU this year includes Yvonne Leung and other four delegates, who by the way are not elected, but appointed by the HKUSU Council. Having a low legitimacy, the Council still is to vote for Sec-Gen on behalf on all full members.

That is to say, the Sec-Gen and other major posts in HKFS are elected through indirect election, rather similar to the existing election system of the CE in HKSAR. If the HKFS acknowledges the legitimacy behind the election of Sec-Gen, they are to acknowledge that of the CE as well. This is apparently at odds with our pursuit of democracy and freedom.

HKFS Cannot Even Represent Full Members
During the occupy movement, many said "HKFS does not represent me". Indeed, HKFS cannot represent all Hongkongers. Worse still, under its current system, it is no way that HKFS can even represent its full members. Full members should have the right to elect major positions, such as the Sec-Gen, and the right to monitor them. Without such fundamental rights, we have paid the fees for years for nothing. It is the top priority for HKFS to undergo an overhaul — establishing universal suffrage for major positions in the Secretariat. To fundamentally temper HKFS thus and so, democratic spirit is enhanced, the full members' hearts will stay, and above all, it will proved to be beneficial for later social movements.

After weeks of debates, I would say I do not entirely agree with the points made by the Withdrawal Concern Group, nor the claim that HKUSU can be on a par with HKFS or the Scholarism. Yet, still, I hold my doubts over Alex Chow's claim that the internal reform of HKFS towards universal suffrage can solve all problems.

It is not Alex Chow's determination that makes me hold back, and in fact I do believe his spirit. But the fact that "power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely" implies that the reform can never be underway automatically. There is always conservative power and vested interests in an organisation. In the world history, it is seen that reforms often take place due to external pressure. And for a person who is about to retire from the seat, how is he going to guarantee this promise?

It Is Now the Time for Reform
Without this referendum towards the withdrawal from HKFS, people would not know about the pedantic system long existed in this organisation, nor have the chance to express their dissatisfaction over HKFS's performance. We should know that the referendum is a pressure encouraging HKFS's internal reform. The extent of such pressure hinges on the votes of supporting withdrawal. If there are too few, the motivation to reform will remain low. There is no need to worry rapprochement — According to the HKFS Charter, HKUSU is free to come and go.

It is the era of reform. Before the huge project reforming Hong Kong, we should start with the HKFS. The problematic system in HKFS has existed so long, and it needs to be cure through such a surgery. The malicious attacks towards the withdrawal are no more than CCP-style tactics. As students in HKU, we shall, with conscience and rational judgement, decide the future of ourselves, of HKFS, and of Hong Kong!

[Undergrad/HKUSU] Chan Ya-ming: The Final Generation of Hongkongers

The Final Generation of Hongkongers
Translated by HKCT Editorial Team, Written by Chan Ya-ming (陳雅明)
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/01-30-2015/20873 

If there are people who still want to live their lives, then they should dare to speak, to laugh or to cry, to be angry, to criticise and to beat.
In this damned place, they combatted the damned era!
Lu Xun

Lu Xun once said the Chinese history can be split into two dynasties: One is an era when people crave to slaves but fail to do so; another is an era that people can temporarily be slaves. That is to say, in the past few thousand years, being slaves is part of China's history. Affecting by the history, Chinese can only be slaves somehow. There are many kinds of Chinese in Hong Kong as such, and some even forgot their identities as human beings when they are too indulged in the roles.

Half of the history of Hong Kong is also about being slaves. Youngsters in Hong Kong no longer want to continue this pathetic path, so they scream for self-determination and attempt to start a new page in history. Youngsters in Hong Kong opt to embrace the rights one should have as an ordinary person, but the regime has turned them down without the slightest hope left. Those who act are arrested; those who speak are lambasted publicly. I couldn't have imagined the world has degenerated as such, and it is out of my expectation that the lambasting will fall on The Undergrad [Translator's note: it is the magazine produced by HKUSU].

CY Leung criticised The Undergrad and made open the names of our Editorial Board. It is similar to the "struggle session" during the Cultural Revolution, creating white terror apparently. After the Umbrella Revolution, CY Leung did not reflect upon the relationship between him and the youngsters, but rather, he provoked us again and again — asking us to further our career outside Hong Kong, and now lambasting The Undergrad by using tactics and thoughts from the Cultural Revolution. Starting a comprehensive political suppression and ideological control, CY Leung "tackles" all of the existing youth issues.

Since the founding of The Undergrad in 1952, the magazine is accommodating and inclusive. Opinions towards the future of Hong Kong have often been treated as radical. In the late 1960s, there were already articles discussing the Hong Kong Independence (HKI); and in the early 1970s, an article, on the contrary, said the complete solution to Hong Kong is to go for socialism completely. These students are now well-known leftists. Did the Governor at the time criticise them in public? In the late 1960s, there were articles criticising the problems found in the colonial administration, and Governor Sir Trench replied the editorial board in a decently-written letter, entirely different from what CY Leung did these days. No wonder some youngsters reminisce about the colonial era once in a while.

CY Leung does not show the demeanour a politician supposed to have, but rather take things out of context. J.Y. wrote "HK Independence from A Military Perspective", and CY mentioned it during the Policy Address 2015 press conference, saying this article describes how can Hong Kong set up an army just like Singapore. Either Leung did not read it seriously, or he read it and distorted it deliberately. If he did read it not in a casual manner, he can certainly get the conclusion: none of all "army-building options" is viable at the moment.

The Editorial Board did not write it for conspiring the movement of HKI, but rather, we found no discussion on this topic. Even one does not agree with the stance of HKI, there should be freedom of discussing HKI. But articles without the value of "name-and-shame" will not be mentioned by CY Leung. To The Undergrad, the freedom of speech is more important than one's political stance. It is certainly a surprise for all of us that the Chief Executive of HK can be this narrow-minded not to tolerate a word of a student magazine.

It is a pseudo-statement when leftist mouthpieces accuse The Undergrad of supporting HKI. The Undergrad is only a campus media, with political discourse or news reports at most. We explore in different thoughts and no action has been taken. How can this construct the implementation of HKI? We are not like some officials, who receive foreign capital. We have no support nor connection to "external powers". Thus how do we possibly "conspire the movement of HKI"?

George Orwell sees through these tactics adopted by the authoritarians, who aim to fool the people with lies one after another. It is no news for the authoritarians to utilise sophistry and "newspeak", like "War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength" in order to make believe. Sophistry is prevalent since Leung sworn in. Now that The Undergrad merely discuss the possibility of HKI without any action, but have already been accused of conspiring it. It incarnates the newspeak of HKSARG that talking about HKI is equal to conspiring the movement of HKI. These are but silly illogical sophistry, which you can immediately crack it with a few steps of analysis. No offence, but it is rather dim-witted for those who fall for these lamb excuses.

People who brown-nose the CCP will ask people to show their loyalty by answering the "correctly" on the matter of HKI. Some pan-dems are more than eager to show that they are "clean", and said they have nothing to do with HKI. "Before answering questions, one should understand the keywords in the question" — that is something a secondary school student can easily manage.

When faced such interrogation, it is not wise to "sever ties as soon as possible". Why don't we ask our dearest CY Leung or Andrew Fung in return of their definition of HKI? And what is in their minds towards Taiwan current status? An independent rule from China? If they regard Taiwan not as an independent place, then undoubtedly The Undergrad stands for no HKI notion.

If to them HKI means to have its own army, they should know that The Undergrad does not have such proposal as well. But If HKI to them, means to have certain kind of political system and democratic election without the manipulation from the CCP (such as civil nomination), then YES, The Undergrad has supported this from the very beginning. The key is: Aren't pan-dems pursuing a democratic election which CCP couldn't rig? Our September 2014 edition, with the main theme of "The Democracy and Independence of Hong Kong", was written partly because some leftist mouthpieces frame "civil nomination" as "HKI"; the pan-dems and some newspapers were afraid of tags of HKI, and so they severed ties with localism.

In the eyes of CCP, elections it couldn't rig will be considered as trends of HKI. If pan-dems are still avoiding the topic of HKI, any proposal of "genuine universal suffrage" will be considered as "supporting HKI". When CY actively mentioned HKI, it is timely to ask him whether nomination counts as supports to HKI. But the pan-dems just do not prompt that question. If CY says "No", it would be just right as the civil not nomination will be clarified as irrelevant to HKI. Case solved. If CY says "Yes", his "HKI" is merely nothing but civil nomination. What on earth, in this way would "HKI" scary you away? Nothing, right?

The Hong Kong Nation Discourse (also translated as Hong Kong Nationalism) or the issue of HKI is only discussed within some small circles. Some may not even dare to think about it, and HKI is definitely not a mainstream idea. The one who put HKI to headlines of mainstream media is CY Leung. He has stimulated the imagination of HKI to Hongkongers and wrongly assumed that he has his own freedom of speech to say whatever he likes to whoever he is to blame. But he seems to forget he himself as a CE, acting as an authority will bring about political consequences as a result of his actions. Dominating the political agenda and suppressing opposition voice will be likely to happen.

The Undergrad might activate few drops of discussion, but CY Leung is capable of triggering a wave of support towards HKI once he says the opposite. After his criticism against The Undergrad, the topic of HKI has suddenly become a mainstream topic on everybody's tongue. Some may even chant slogans such as "Brilliant is Leung Chun-ying; replace Xi Jinping", and hail CY Leung as the "Father of Independence". I am afraid the only person in Hong Kong who is capable of implementing HKI would be CY himself.

Meanwhile, some pro-China minions betray Hongkongers to curry favours with its masters by giving some ridiculous remarks. They suggested that before the legislation of Article 23, Basic Law, the State Security Law should be tried or implemented partially in Hong Kong. It is predictable that if a Chinese Law is introduced, the other will follow and then a trend will be formed. In this case, befor 2047, we will have no choice but to live with "Chinese-style socialsim" in Hong Kong.

Such speeches are not merely gibberish from small officials, but were endorsed by Tung Chee-hwa, the Vice-Chairman of NPC. Tung said, "Legal grounds are there for the introduction of Chinese law to Hong Kong". Before 1997, the national leader maysay, "Well water does not interfere with river water, and the vice versa". Nowadays, some traitors are ruining Hong Kong by "pouring sewage into the well".

Launching the White Paper, making the August 31st Decision in NPCSC, criticising the "conspiracy of HKI" in Policy Address and introducing "State Security Law" in Hong Kong — these are all as Mao referred to "contradictions between ourselves and the enemy". CY Leung and his minions are dedicated to launch a political struggle, to suppress all opposition voices, and even, at the expense of One Country, Two Systems.

After the Umbrella Revolution, a question was asked online: After this, how can young Hongkongers carry on their lives? And the answer to that was "Endure it or commit suicide." When one has been enlightened, and yet no path can be seen, he suffers even more. This generation has lost the patience to tolerate this can't-be-more-ridiculous system as the last generation did, and they all intend to live a life with dignity. But now are there alternatives other than seeking for an afterlife?

In "In Memorial of Liu Ho-chen", Lu Xun mentioned that Liu was a student of the Peking Women's College of Education majoring in English and was shot dead at the age of 22 due to the petition to the Beiyang government during early years of ROC. Lu Xun said, she was a youngster who died for China, instead of surviving with shame. For youngsters with ideals and aspirations, they do not turn a blind eye to the tyrannic regime. Witnessing HKSARG getting more lunatic, our generation of the umbrella era will not step back. Somehow it gives me the feeling that it is CY's intention to turn us all Liu Ho-chen. Correct me if I am wrong.

At the end of the article, Lu Xun said "Those aimless survivors might see light in the tunnel of the colour of blood, but real hero(in)es will be more dedicated and march forward." The time is on the side of youngsters. The fate of Hong Kong and youngsters are intertwined and interconnected. If the youngsters step back, then there will not be another generation for Hong Kong. It is time we decide for our own fate, the fate as a human-being. Arise and fight for Hong Kong!



Related content:
[Undergrad/HKUSU] Chan Ya-ming: The Scream of Our Generation
[Undergrad/HKUSU] Keyvin Wong: Localism: Hongkongers' Only Salvation
[Undergrad/HKUSU] J.Y.: HK Independence from A Military Perspective

15 February 2015

Atsuna: Commoners Can Be Accomplices of The Authoritarians Too

Atsuna: Commoners Can Be Accomplices of The Authoritarians Too
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Written by Atsuna
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/02-14-2015/21191 


If the "political correctness" indoctrinated to the minds of some Hong Kong or Taiwan celebrities, they will be backfired by those mainland "fans". Chapman To once said in his Facebook page, "Some unreasonable mainland netizens were born in the 1990s, those "fans" of celebs should be youngsters who should be supporting their idols unfailingly. Or at least in normal countries, they should be those least interested in politics. Although there were many student campaigns in the track of history, they criticised the authority. Chinese youths are more peculiar, mentioning the national interests all the time and linking the party's interests to themselves.

Arthur Schöpenhauer once said, "The cheapest sort of pride is national pride, for if a man is proud of his nation, he has no qualities of his own of which he can be proud. Otherwise, he would not have recourse to those which he shares with so many millions of his fellowmen. But every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can [be proud adopts], as a last resort, pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and glad to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, this reimbursing himself for his own inferiority."

So it is more than understandable when Chinese youth can turn a blind eye on things like Liu Xiaobo and Chen Guangcheng. Be calm over injustice (such as illegal land acquisition by the government, using backdoor 'guanxi' benefit their jobs or studies and be utterly patriotic than the Blue Ribbon thugs. The silence is finally broken -- to defend for the national interests. Sort of a compensating, isn't it? But they simply stop thinking and let the party decide on what to speak.

In Zhang Yihe's book. She wrote, "A scholar thinks that, 'If the subjects follow and get used to the method of thinking pig the rulers, then they are accomplices." Chinese get hysteric when they heard Taiwan independence, Hong Kong independence, Tibet independence, or Xinjiang independence. They do not even ask why. If some people even dare not to curry CCP's favours, such as putting a cap on IVS, they just became the "spokespersons of the Chinese Foreign Ministry" with evil faces. Their "enthusiastic attachment" to politics are but beyond one's imagination. It is hard to imagine they live in a country where "Communist Party" becomes a banned searching keyword on Baidu.

Milk formula? Poison. School buildings? Jerry-built. High-speed rail? High-speed accidents. Money and Guanxi? All fixed. People's lives are under the "Russian Roulette", depending on one's luck. Youngsters know the corruption of the country, and the problems in the Communist Party, but when the national interests is involved (high-rank officlas' interests, to be specific), they get "untied". People say "Where they sit affects how they think", but in Chinese logic, leaders decide how the people think. Or else why commoners think of the national interests all the time as if they were cadres?

So stop saying Chinese tourists are commoners. Ask them their views on TWI or HKI, or curb on IVS. You will know they are "accomplices", as Zhang said. When there are disasters upon Hong Kong, Chinese netizens enjoy a lot with Schadenfreude. Leftards are pinpointing at "fascist Hongkongers", but why did they turn a blind eye to hate speech from the Chinese people? Wouldn't it be too scoundrel?

10 February 2015

Atsuna: Why Is Military Training A Must for Kids in Hong Kong Mums' Minds?

Why Is Military Training A Must for Kids in Hong Kong Mums' Minds?
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Edited by Karen L., Written by Atsuna
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/01-26-2015/20786 



Hongkongers radically do not have a clue how to hit the country's spot: bootlicking seems to be the best tune, but in fact it goes to the wrong way.

When the people from mainland China are "in cahoots with foreign powers", Hongkongers rather give in the world and accommodate China as the new one; When the people from mainland China are learning English with eagerness, Hong Kong on the contrary ruins the generation's English by the "Mother Tongue Education", and even promots "Putonghua as the medium of instruction for Chinese subject" (PMIC); when the mainlanders cast doubts on the military training on students, Hong Kong rather fervently advocates "military summer camp", and now goes so far as to "Hong Kong Army Cadets"!

In China, it is compulsory for high school students (Grade 10) and university freshmen to participate in military training (MT). Military Service Law in 1955 provids the grounds for MT, but before the Tian'anmen Massacre in 1989, students were not forced to do so.

A Chinese writer therefore marked  1989 as the first year of MT, and since then nearly all freshmen have to receive MT for at least a month. Peking University being the staunch supporter of 1989's student movement was even given a year of MT for every student. Even though this one-year MT rule didn't maintain for a long time, it is crystal clear of its motive taming the revolutionary students.

No wonder Chen Danqing, a painter, said on his Weibo, "MT on students acts in no good purposes. This is a form of education turning men into slaves, and should it only exist in authoritarian states like North Korea. Do we opt to training a healthy, independent and free-thinking future generation, or simply obedient machines one after another?"

News covering severe corporal punishment in the training has made Chinese starting to cast doubts on the purpose of MT. Alone in 2014, there is quite some scandals happened. In Hunan, 42 injuries in total, and one of them is a teacher, who is in critical condition. All beaten by the instructors; In Liaoning, a female high schooler committed suicide after criticised of a disqualified posture; In Xi'an, a male student fell on the ground during training, and was certified dead during the way to hospital.

Well, just as I expected, flunkies popped up in time and categoried these as "exceptional cases". They criticised the youngsters are unable to face adversity, and said things such as "Many Chinese parents condone and spoil their only children, and MT can help build up their kids' team spirit and discipline". It does sound familiar, isn't it? These are precisely the reasons Hong Kong mums sending their children to MT camps!

The "Hong Kong Youth Military Summer Camp" and "Hong Kong University Student Military Life Experience Camp" are free in charge. I believe those mums will not value Chen Zuo'er's words ("Brainwashed by the Western theories and have to be refill their brain with the correct thoughts") much, but still pushing their young adult daughters and sons to participate in these camps. Why? Discipline training and advantages taking. In some weirdo university students' minds, "Work life is surely going to be much harder than studying. Through the camp, I can prepare myself to be more tenacious!”

Apart from parents, there are some school headmasters who force their students to join "discipline training camp. The harshness is indeed not comparable to MT, but running around the field, standing still under the sun and doing conditioning are matters of course. Be it MT or discipline training camps, through torturing your body, the endgame is about tearing down one's self-worth and turn people into more "disciplined" selves.

The main course includes severe conditioning punishment due to some slightest issues. Everyone gets to running around the field and doing press-ups. The "team spirit" the camp has attempted to build is based on collectivism. If one cannot be found obedience, it will make them all "villains". Those cocky or go-one's-own-way students are therefore the targets. Added with looped scolding and peer pressure, the students are "re-moulded" as "good" students who will succumb to authority.

Mere punishment is known to be insufficient. This is where the existence of "self-repentance" lies to complete the program. Under some sentimental music, exhausted students are forced to think through what they did wrong to their parents, their teachers and even the universe. Some may even kneel before the teachers and cry, swearing that they will start with a clean slate. If an outsider is to watch the scene, he or she might have thought the students have commited some sort of serious crime.

Not a few parents strongly believe such training camps can turn their kids into tougher ones, as it is known that students are supposed to suffer there. Yet, when they get out from the bars....I mean camps, they might be good boys and girls for a few days, however, it is but a on-the-spur-of-the-moment thing. Expecting a weekly camp to get rid of bad habits that has been accumulated for years, isn't it too greedy?

Knowing that the environment can change a person, Hong Kong mums get used to compare their kids with the same age from mainland China. These mums blame their kids for being less industrious than the ones there. Satirically, for years, these mums have instructed the domestic helpers to take care of all the "irrelevant" matters for their kids so that they can focus on practical skills such as English, Mandarin, piano, painting, dancing, etc – What so surprise if such kids cannot endure hardships?