Sex sells: young Hong Kong lawmaker defends use of slang to arouse public interest

Yau Wai-ching, of localist party Youngspiration, says she will use ‘dirty’ words in Legco if necessary

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 October, 2016, 7:32am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 October, 2016, 2:38pm

Young lawmaker Yau Wai-ching, who caused a hubbub for using a Cantonese slang term for sexual intercourse in a public forum, remained unremorseful and said she would continue using so-called “dirty” words in Legislative Council meetings if needed.

The 25-year-old, of the localist party Youngspiration, said she considered it a good way to arouse public interest in an issue.

“Sometimes the public do not have much interest in Legislative Council issues. Maybe there are good reasons,” Yau said on Tuesday.

The rise and rise of young Hongkonger Yau Wai-ching of Youngspiration

The controversy arose when Yau used the Cantonese slang term for sexual intercourse, which literally means “to strike something” or “bonk” in informal English, at a Polytechnic University forum last Monday.

She used the term while discussing the housing problem faced by Hong Kong’s young people, who, she said could not afford to have a proper place for intimacy, let alone buy their own a home.

“If the phrases or terms can help accurately convey my views, I will not try to avoid using them,” Yau said.

“If I can draw public attention to an issue by using some phrases or words, I will not avoid using them.

“One main function of language is for communication. If you say something that others cannot understand, the communication is not effective,” she argued.

Legco presidential candidate Andrew Leung grilled over British nationality before Wednesday’s election

Yau’s party colleague, Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chung-hang, also defended her use of slang.

“It is the language people of our age use everyday. Maybe [people of the age of pro-government lawmaker] Andrew Leung [65 years old] find it odd when hearing such phrases. But nowadays, would you expect young people to say ‘making the beast with two backs’ when chatting with friends?” he said.

At Tuesday’s press conference, the Yongspiration duo also said they would not vote for Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, of the pro-government Business and Professionals Alliance, in Wednesday’s Legco president election.