In Hong Kong, after the 2016 LegCo election, and especially after the “Oath Gate” debacle in regards to Baggio Leung and Yau Wai Ching’s diplomatic error during their swearing as LegCo members, hope for Hong Kong went for a down turn; what was once a formidable faction known as the localists were knocked out in one shot, from what looked like an united front turned into factional conflicts.
Firstly, many who once supported Edward Leung Tin-Kei and Hong Kong Indigenous were sorely disappointed during and after the 2016 election, whereupon Edward Leung showed dishonour during and after the election, then cowardice amidst the HKsar regime’s political persecution of dissidents through the legal system. Secondly, Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-Ching’s irresponsible behaviour greatly disappointed those who were just warming up to the localism ideology, when the duo hijacked the movement unto themselves, sidelining the true localists such as members of Civic Passion, former LegCo member Wong Yukman and enigmatic Chin Wan. Thirdly, during the 2017 Hong Kong chief executive appointment scam, pro-democracy Hong Kongers underwent further schism, when some supported the known pro-establishment and pro-china John Tsang in their hopes to oust Carrie Lam from the competition, and others who were against supporting any of the nominees so as not to legitimise an undemocratic appointment process. Lastly, in between and after the two elections, many people who were accused of participation in the localist uprising during the 2014 Umbrella Revolution, 2015 Reclaim Hong Kong movement and 2016 “Fish Ball Revolution” were convicted of crimes built upon shaky evidence and subjective judgements.
Amidst this “white terror” atmosphere of political persecution masquerading as justice, a vacuum of political figures to take up the torch of Hong Kong localism, the sore lack of people willing to stand out and speak on behalf of the “revolutionaries”, the unwillingness of pro-democracy lawyers to assist in seeing justice actually being carried out, as well as factional bickering, many Hong Kongers now choose to lay low, many even contemplates emigration. Some figures such as Chin Wan advocates the moving of the Hong Kong resistance offshore where there are more room to manoeuvre; former Faculty of Orchid Gardening leader Barry Ma urge people to emigrate to save the last seeds of Hong Kongers if they can afford to, and MyRadio’s station master Leung Kam Cheung agreeing that consolidating Hong Kongers overseas may be the best and only option left to us. Yet, other figures insist to persist in continuing to do battle with china in Hong Kong whilst there is still an iota of strength left, such as Passion Times’ Wong Yeungtat, who used the Noah’s Ark metaphor to suggest that supporters make logistic, mental and psychological preparation for when there is once again the need to rise up; and the indomitable Wong Yukman, who uses his celebrity status and his online radio station MyRadio to continue educating whomever would listen, giving a feeling of support and empowerment for those who still feel the fire in them. In a previous article, Logan: Genocide and Revival, I have likened the current Hong Kong Resistance to Wolverine (a.k.a. Logan) and Charles Xavier (Professor X), whereby some have become cynical like the former, choosing to forget and just get by until death takes us all, and others are like the latter, who have been greatly deprived of power but have not given up all hope for a future revival.
As for myself, I currently live overseas in Australia, and with my own experience in garnering support for the Hong Kong resistance, I can only caution fellow Hong Kong fighters who are thinking of leaving for greener pastures overseas. Once away from Hong Kong, you will lose everything that empowers you; the new beats of life may occupy you full time that you no longer have the space to care about Hong Kong; your children and grandchildren would slowly be naturalised into the local society, until they no longer care to carry the torch for Hong Kong; it will be hard to congregate with fellow like-minded Hong Kongers; and you may not have the support of the locals, who cannot distinguish a chinese from a Hong Konger because all Asians are chinese and perceived to be the same. However, if any of you who insist on moving overseas either to escape or to establish the Hong Kong Diaspora for the preservation of Hong Kong cultures and language, I would like to tell you the story of Cybertron, the Ark and the Autobot’s fight against the Decepticons:
Cybertron, a robotic and technological planet that gave birth to sentient robotic life known as the Transformers, fell into civil war with the peaceful, democratic Autobots gradually losing the war effort to the tyrannical and imperialist Decepticons. On the verge of being wiped out, the Autobot leader Optimus Prime decided to choose the best amongst themselves to aboard the Ark and flee elsewhere, not only to preserve the Autobot society and their beliefs, but also the Matrix of Leadership which grants the holder great power over Cybertron and Cybertronians (Transformers), as well as hoping to find more energon to replenish their dwindling supplies.
There were others who opted to stay behind and continue their warfare against the enemy, such as Elita One, who felt that they cannot allow their beloved home fully in the hands of their foe, but they went into hiding, as they plotted guerrilla operations against the Decepticons.
The Ark crossed space and time, with the Decepticon flagship Nemesis and the Decepticon leader Megatron on their tail, and in the ensuring battle both crashed onto prehistoric Earth. After they were woken from their slumber-like statis lock in the 1980s, the Autobots relaunched their warfront against the Decepticons, but with the help of some humans they were able to defeat the Decepticons and bring Cybertron back to a peaceful and prosperous existence.
The point in my Cybertron analogy is that for those who choose to leave Hong Kong, just as Optimus Prime chose to leave his planet, I urge you to take with you the memory of Hong Kong not under chinese control: its Cantonese language and cultures, its multi-ethnic diversity, its true historical past under the British administration, our persecution and eradication under the chinese people, the insistence on our new identity that Hong Kongers are not chinese, our spirit of street smart entrepreneurship and hard work, and our value on freedom and the just Rule of Law; pass it onto our next generation and drill into them to carry on this torch should our generation pass away, and hopefully one day we can move back to Hong Kong to rebuild, once the leviathan known as china pass into history.
For the purpose of achieving this, those of us who are already out of Hong Kong, please establish our own fraternities and associations at wherever you may be, so that you do not allow ourselves to be represented by chinese ethnic associations overseas, establish relations with the local people and governing powers there, insist on your Hong Konger identity even if the locals persist in defining you as chinese, and be able to testify what it is unique about Hong Kongers and why we are not chinese, with the preparation to fight for that belief if anyone denies you of your identity (be it a Westerner, a chinese or a Hong Kong defector). The one thing you must also remember is, the chinese are also seeking to control wherever you may think of emigrating to, so you must be prepared to battle them there, if you want to see your Hong Konger ethnic identity be passed onto the next generation.
As for those who cannot emigrate, or unwilling to give up their homeland in Hong Kong, be like Elita One from Cybertron, prevent the chinese from gaining control, upset their plans whenever possible, but do not allow yourselves to be captured. Go guerrilla.
In the words of Optimus Prime, I call to Hong Kongers out there around the world who may be reading this message: We are Hong Kongers, and we are here to stay. Until our dreams come true, fight on!