• Sat
  • Oct 25, 2014
  • Updated: 2:15pm
My Take
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 June, 2013, 4:40am

Rude protesters need better role models than Wong Yuk-man

Protest is one thing; bad manners are just, well, rude. There is no excuse for rudeness, especially not in the name of democracy. Unfortunately, we have ruffians like lawmaker Wong Yuk-man as role models for young people.

Take, for example, the behaviour of a minority of graduating students at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts this week. Don't get me wrong. It's perfectly fine for young people to fight for democracy and oppose the government. But they might consider doing it with style, dignity and manners. And indeed, many did so at the graduation ceremony for 276 students of the academy officiated by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, the target of their protests. I think those who raised the cards in unison from the audience that said "I want real universal suffrage" were perfectly fine and dignified. Also those who refused to be capped by Leung as part of the graduation ceremony did their part and were within their right to do so.

But then there were those who gave him the middle finger, who crossed their arms in his face, who bowed three times to him as a gesture to the dead; and - this was a classic - the one who turned his buttocks against Leung. I was relieved he didn't take off his pants to "moon" the chief executive. Being rude to our leaders has become de rigueur for many young protesters, including many from our most prestigious schools and universities. When you are convinced you are absolutely right and government officials are completely wrong or worse, evil, it's natural you would treat them with contempt. But it's always a good idea to be less certain about one's rightness and look at things from the other person's viewpoint. To show contempt is easy; to understand is much harder. Disagreement does not mean you have the right to offend with impunity.

Instead of people like Wong and "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung, I suggest young people look to the civilising models of Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Liu Xiaobo . These icons of human rights and liberty opposed the most brutal injustice and oppression with poise, wit and dignity. Young people should learn not only from their courage, but also their wisdom, good manners and civilised behaviour.

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Byebye
Mr Alex Lo, an excellent article! I quote the last sentences of your article ~ "These icons of human rights and liberty opposed the most brutal injustice and oppression with poise, wit and dignity. Young people should learn not only from their courage, but also their wisdom, good manners and civilised behaviour." ~~~ it's time for Hong Kong's next generation to reflect on these values - wisdom, good manners and civilised behaviour.
maecheung
"Disagreement does not mean you have the right to offend with impunity.".....WELL SAID!
These so called pan-democrats (Wong, Long Hair and company) fighting for democracy and universal suffrage absolutely show no tolerance for others' opinions and have a very narrow vision.
pseudotriton
Wong Yuk-man is nothing but a street thug. And many of these students are unfortunately just hot-blooded youths who got brainwashed by politicians such as Wong and "Long Hair" for their own political gains. Actions speak louder than words, and I think such behavior of these people demonstrates their true nature. I'm sorry but they're not in the same ranks as Mandela, Suu Kyi, or Gandhi. Nobody in HK is being locked up as political prisoners and/or persecuted like those people have been. Wong and "Long Hair" and their cadre are just doing these as a political stunt. Please do not flatter them.
maecheung
"politicians such as Wong and "Long Hair" for their own political gains."....Not just political gain, and in fact monetary gain. Can you imagine where they can actually get a job which pays so much?.. Only in the Hong Kong Legislature!
ngsw
A female graduate raised her middle finger and appeared to be very proud of it, at their supposed to be solemn graduation ceremony! Is that creative? Or loutish?
John Adams
Loutish. Pure loutish ... and very, very immature.
Ghandi would never have behaved that way, nor Nelson Mandela, nor Aung San Suu Kyi.
(But probably Wang Yuk-Man would have behaved that way : what a terrible role model he is for our younger generation)
johnyuan
In my memory there are only two street protests in Hong Kong during colonial time. The differences in how government rules Hong Kong may be attributable to the colossal increase of street protest since the hangover. Nevertheless, I will add it is much a Chinese characteristic to go on a street protest even if the issue is interested by very few. It looks like Chinese prefer such way to engage the society or the party they are protesting against. An alternative that becomes popular in many places is for the public to make comments in news media. In fact, the column writers of the media are protesters too. Here, Alex Lo protests almost everyday. I find them most civil and vigorous performing a great service to society without wandering in the street or sitting in front of CY Leung’s office. Engagement without commotion and let the communication flows.
kevin2007
I don't think many can even dream of learning from what Liu Xiaobo has been doing in the mainland and hk, man.
Yukman has his rights to say and do things; don't like it, don't give a damn, man. Simple as that, man!!!
John Adams
Mr Lo,
I agree 100%
If I was CY I would have kicked the guy in the buttocks , and bowed three times in return to those who bowed three times to me in mockery
If nothing else, this shows admirable personal restraint on the part of our beleaguered CE.
I am certainly not going to march this 1 July, but I am seriously considering whether to just sit in the middle of the road with a big " I support CY through thick and thin / for better or for worse" sign ahead of the march and see what happens. Guess I would get jostled and spit on to near death.
We have such short memories . The CE choice was basically between the awful Tang and CY. CY was/ is no angel, but Tang was the antithesis of an angel ( I admire Albert Ho - especially recently for his support for Snowden- but basically he had no chance as CE)
CY took on the toughest job in HK and I still cannot understand why he shouldered this immense burden when he could have retired peacefully on his earnings. I think it's only because he believes in HK and felt that this was his time to 'do his bit' .
I wish I had his courage and determination.
Give the man his chance say I
PS: You are correct to cite past icons of peaceful protest. Ruffians like lawmaker Wong Yuk-man will never be remembered decades later. No-one will mourn his death
chaz_hen
Which begs the question....why on Earth would anyone want a job that basically has no real power, you're second guessed by big brother up north, and you're surrounded by nincompoops? Must be the amazing remuneration as the highest paid acting mayor in the world!

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