11 June 2018

Edward Leung: Before the Sentencing

Before the Sentencing
Translated by HKCT, written by Edward Leung TIn-kei 梁天琦 (on 10 June 2018)
Original: https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=448387942240714&id=172224869857024 

Before I returned to Hong Kong, I once read a news report about the tendency of Hongkongers in recent years to emigrate. The poll showed that more and more Hongkongers are moving abroad. Among youngsters, an overwhelming majority considered emigration. At the same time, some “dignitaries” said that if youngsters are so dissatisfied with the society and feel pessimistic about the future, they can choose to leave. After reading these two articles, I felt perplexed: what environment are we creating for our next generation in this place?

To leave or to stay is, of course, a choice many have to make. If Hongkongers - especially the younger generation - no longer remain in Hong Kong and move elsewhere, then the future of Hong Kong will thus be cast. On the other hand, if we stick to this piece of land, then it is possible to change the future. Hong Kong will no longer be a “floating city”.

Of course, the reality makes us dejected. We all have our difficulties.

Since the hearing, time has rewound to the night of 8 February two years ago. Sometimes it pauses, sometimes it stops. My world reconnects with that night again, then stagnates, and I believe it will likely stay there for some time.

After four months of captivity, life isn't too bitter. I am most grateful to friends who attended hearings and wrote to me. Whenever I recall the scene in the courtroom: defense lawyers in front, familiar or unacquainted faces in the public gallery, every nod, smile and wave - these all bolstered my courage to face everything. Especially your letters. These are my only connections beyond the tall wall. These warm my heart a lot. This compassion reminds me of why I engage myself in politics.

Lives can influence lives. When I was about to give my statement to the court, I tried to trace my footsteps from the very beginning to today. I remember whom I met on the journey. From day one, the impetus pushing me to the field of politics is the pursuit of a democratic and free Hong Kong. During the course of seeking this ideal society, we have witnessed different scenes, had our own experiences and made our judgments. Regardless of how we make our choices, it is unavoidable that we encounter bumps if we want Hong Kong to become democratic. Coming to today, I don't expect others to agree with me, but I hope they have basic understanding about how an unrepresentative political system can spark the public’s anger; and how many political upheavals will be driven by failed constitutional reform. If we are staying here, the wellbeing of Hong Kong ought to be closely linked to every one of us. What is more, a democratic entity that can fully reflect public opinion should be our pursuit.

Talking about democracy or constitutional reform at this very moment may sound cliché or like asking for the moon. True, all great ideals sound ludicrous in front of a ridiculous reality. I do not deny the stark fact of the retrogression of the democratic course in Hong Kong. I just think that at the worst times, people's sense of responsibility becomes more important. We truly have a lot of things we ought to do but have not yet done.

When raising an issue in the community, support and opposition will inevitably appear. The divergence will manifest itself in different ways. By the same token, even with the ideal of making a difference in the society, social movement participants will also diverge or split due to different priorities. Before democracy is realized, perhaps we should put democracy in practice, understand all kinds of differences and cherish them. We should treat them as an opportunity to bring together a larger force. Only autocracy forbids dissenting voices.

From the turbulence in recent years, I learnt a lot of lessons that have been written down on paper. I have to thank all the people whom I met, especially my parents who brought me into this world. I think even with my entire life, I cannot repay them enough. But if I can learn today's lesson and keep striving for the future of our next generation, I believe my parents will be glad.

10 June 2018

05 June 2018

Letter from David Ford to Civil Servants of Hong Kong on 16 June 1989

Letter from David Ford to Civil Servants of Hong Kong on 16 June 1989
Translated by Chinese Language Authority, Civil Service Branch, written by David Ford

(In June 2018, a Facebook page Rufixation posted this letter, which was found in a former government department office. With authorization, we have typed the full text in English and Chinese for people to refer upon in the future.)

Dear Colleague,

At this time, we in the civil service share with the community as a whole a profound feeling of shock and grief at the recent bloodshed in Peking. I am sure that you, like most people in Hong Kong, are watching with the concern the way in which the situation in China develops. We must all hope that the moves to modernize and liberalize China will be given fresh impetus in the years ahead.

Despite their anger the people of Hong Kong have reacted to recent events in China with tremendous dignity and restraint. This is particularly so in the case of the civil service and my purpose in writing to you is to thank you all for your dedication and responsibility in these troubled times. You have continued to provide the community with a standard of service of a level of which you can be proud, while at the same time demonstrating solidarity with the rest of the people of Hong Kong. Your loyalty to Hong Kong and all it stands for is highly appreciated.

The tragedy of recent weeks makes the role of the civil service even more important to the future of Hong Kong. There may be difficult times ahead, but we have faced difficult times before. No matter what the problems, Hong Kong has shown an ability to adapt and bounce back unequalled anywhere. I have no doubt that we shall do so again.

It would be pointless to suggest that what has happened has not had a major effect on confidence in the future of Hong Kong. I know that you must be deeply concerned. But this makes it all the more necessary for us, as civil servants, to work towards ensuring a stable, and prosperous Hong Kong both up to and beyond 1997. One thing that has emerged from this present situation is a unity of purpose in Hong Kong. We cannot go back, we can only go forward, plan ahead and build for the future. In going forward our duty and commitment is to Hong Kong and its people.

I realise of course that in difficult times it is the civil service that is in the front line, that it is that civil service who may bear the brunt of the community's concerns, and that it is the civil service to which many people time for leadership, guidance and help. I have set that confidence in the future of Hong Kong has been seriously affected; what has not been affected is the confidence in the civil service; its sense of duty and dedication and its commitment to serve the people of Hong Kong.

Yours sincerely,

David Ford

Chief Secretary









布政司 霍德