From triad to divinity student

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 July, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 July, 2005, 12:00am

Life was once an endless tunnel of despair for Matthew Lui Yu-chun, whose rocky path in life went from his parents' divorce to his dropping out of school and becoming a triad member.

Today, the 32-year-old is a secondary school teacher, is pursuing a doctorate degree, and has published a book, The Wanderer's Transformation of Failure, about his rise from his dark past.

Mr Lui's parents divorced when he was three years old and he lived with his drug addict father. He said he was forced out of school at Form Two because of poor results and fighting, and had to enrol in private schools where two-thirds of students belonged to triad gangs. He eventually found himself taking part in random street fights.

'Life sucked when I stood in the busy streets of Mongkok, holding my [failed HKCEE] report sheet,' he recalled. 'I wanted another chance; I wanted another life.'

Mr Lui worked for three months as a printing apprentice before finding another school to repeat his classes. He completed Form Six and Seven, and studied religion at Baptist University, where he was five years older than his classmates.

His triad status was cleared in a government amnesty programme.

Mr Lui earned a master's degree in divinity at Chinese University and became a secondary school teaching specialising in general studies and commerce. He is now pursuing a PhD in education at Baptist University. 'My book is about my past. I hope it will help delinquent boys and girls to get back on the right track and give them hope in life,' he said.