• Wed
  • Aug 27, 2014
  • Updated: 7:24pm
NewsHong Kong
SOCIETY

I don't hate mainlanders - just their behaviour, TST protest organiser says

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 February, 2014, 3:55am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 February, 2014, 9:54am

He's been accused of tarnishing the reputation of Hong Kong and condemned from the highest level of government, but the organiser of Sunday's anti-mainlander demonstration insists he was only expressing concern for the future of the city.

Speaking days after he made international headlines when he led 100 or so marchers through Tsim Sha Tsui's tourist hot spots to condemn mainland tourists, Ronald Leung Kam-shing insisted he did not hate mainlanders but was alarmed by projections that showed tourist numbers doubling in a decade.

"I don't hate mainlanders," Leung said. "I just hate some of their behaviour."

And Leung, a 37-year-old warehouse supervisor who had little interest in social affairs until a couple of years ago, believes Hong Kong has nothing to fear if mainlanders stopped coming.

"I don't believe that the Hong Kong government cannot attract more tourists from other countries even if there are no mainland tourists here," he said.

"Nowadays, we are having more tourists from Russia and India. The number of Japanese tourists has also increased slightly. I don't believe that we can't find other groups of tourists to fulfil what [mainland tourists] have contributed."

Leung says he wants to see the number of mainland tourists curbed rather than an outright ban. But he believes even if a ban was imposed tomorrow, the city would have no problems.

"Hong Kong will not collapse without the mainland's support. The city's economy started with trading many years ago. Our economy does not necessarily have to be internally oriented, it can be externally oriented."

Leung, who works for a company making parts for eyeglasses, said he paid little attention to social issues until he saw students join mass demonstrations against the introduction of national education classes in schools in 2012.

"I asked myself: I am a grown man, but had I ever done anything for the city?"

He grew more concerned about events in the city, especially the influx of parallel-goods traders - who buy products at lower prices in Hong Kong to sell over the border - in his hometown of Sheung Shui.

While political parties and the media paid little attention, he said, local internet users organised a series of so-called Reclaim Sheung Shui protests. Leung became an organiser of the campaign soon after it started.

The NeoDemocrats - a group formed by lawmaker Gary Fan Kwok-wai after he quit the Democrats - recruited Leung as a community organiser, a term Leung said was just a fancy name for an ordinary party member.

The inspiration for Sunday's protest came to him last month, when the government projected that the city's annual tourist arrivals could rise from 50 million to 70 million within three years, and to 100 million in a decade.

While the government and business groups welcomed the news, Leung went online to rally support for a protest.

His group has since earned scorn from officials including Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, while the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office joined the condemnation.

But Ronald Leung, who recalled being yelled at by mainland visitors when he worked at a shoe shop in Admiralty years ago, sees double standards at work.

"It's laughable. Why can people from the mainland say that they are from Beijing and Shanghai, but we cannot say we are from Hong Kong? It's ridiculous how I get yelled at when I say I am a Hongkonger."

 

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This article is now closed to comments

bolshoi
Populism, parochialism and bigotry... Poisons that Hong Kong can do better without. But I doubt these are the things this Mr Ronald Leung will ever be able to comprehend.
allan94
this guy is just the typical lazy, under-educated, monolingual underachiever who feels that society has moved on and left him behind. it is not a question of whether we need the prc money or not.
the prc people here may be crass and extravagant with their shopping and conspicuous consumption, but that doesnt mean that poor hk people can vent on them indiscriminately, that is the definition of bigotry.
the prc people has as much right to be in hk spending money as any hk citizen.
hk is an open country, with equal and level playing field. if ronald feels that he is unable to compete with the mainlanders, he should leave hk. dont disguise his mediocrity as his patriotism. if he is really patriotic, he should not display his bigotry.
skywalker
Mr. Leung only demonstrates that he does not understand the economy of Hong Kong and economy at all. Maybe the company he works for is still manufacturing the "parts for eyeglasses" in Hong Kong, but most of the trading companies in Hong Kong fully depend on China, either as a source of the products they are dealing with or as a market to sell products.
Hong Kong and its people should finally learn that they are fully depending on China and its people (the mainlanders). And in this free economy there are always Hong Kongers who profit massively from the mainlanders, at least those who actually sell the baby milk formula and the luxury items and whatever to them. Are these people who sell this stuff to mainlanders not Hong Kongers?
Just try to imagine where Hong Kong would be if there would be no China. Hong Kong would be very independent and very much insignificant!
That is pretty much the truth and perhaps too hard to swallow for some Hong Kongers.
dharmakarma
Fxxx you all for politicizing this issue, but we can't sustain the current numbers
req
No big deal, the feeling is mutual, I'm sure mainlanders hate these street vermin too....
chuchu59
I cant accept what this guy says. Doesn't hate mainlanders but only their behavior? You can condone the behavior of some mainlanders on an individual basis but you should tar them all with the same brush. If that isn't discrimination I don't know what is. Personally, I don't mind setting out a campaign against people with uncivilized behavior but it must be a well-thought out campaign and not arouse negative sentiments against a group of people who have the same bloodlines as us.
johnh
Cheers to a man with the guts to stand up for Hong Kong. Hope there will be more & more
allan94
if this is considered "standing up for hk", pls count me out!
i can stand up for myself and for hk without putting other people down. I want to be excellent without resorting to these dirty and despicable tactics.
bunch of uneducated idiots who disguise their impotence as patriotism.
anotherguy
Stop giving excuses and btw, Hk will be in big **** without china, no doubt about it. Hk as itself now is too weak as people are getting uncompetitive with poor English standards and competitive mindsets, you being prob one of them. And most of all, nothing and I mean nothing can justify your racists behavior and please, reconcil your paradoxical statements.
onedistrict
The decades of hard work and the great efforts of individuals at the Hong Kong Tourism Commission are wasted by such a tiny number of narrow minded abusive haters .....

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