Public Eye

Opinion: If Joshua Wong thinks he is the new face of democracy in Hong Kong, he is delusional

Michael Chugani says those who shout white terror whenever they are held to account for their actions insult the city’s internationally respected legal system and the good name of democracy

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 May, 2017, 4:20pm
UPDATED : Friday, 18 August, 2017, 1:07pm

Will the true father of Hong Kong democracy please stand up?

Upstart democracy activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung named Martin Lee Chu-ming as the holder of that title during last week’s US Senate hearing on Hong Kong. Lee was the international face of democracy in the city leading up to and after the 1997 handover. But the late Szeto Wah has equal claim to that crown.

The pair, along with Emily Lau Wai-hing, fought a noble fight for democracy without once hurling bananas or behaving like thugs in the Legislative Council. Szeto is no longer with us. Lee has lost credibility by cozying up to media boss Jimmy Lai Chee-ying who uses our democracy movement as a cover to oppose China’s communist system.

If Wong harbours any ambition to assume the mantle from Lee and Szeto, he’s delusional. The Western media has made him the new face of Hong Kong democracy. But before he gets carried away he should know it fits the agenda of the Western media to romanticise the so-called fight for democracy in Hong Kong.

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Why else would the Western media bestow the title of the conscience of Hong Kong on Anson Chan Fang On-sang? Hongkongers more accurately taunt her as a sudden democrat who never championed democracy until after she quit as chief secretary. She has as much claim to being the conscience of Hong Kong as our property tycoons.

Can you think of anyone among our current self-proclaimed champions of democracy who has the moral stature to be the conscience of Hong Kong? I can’t. Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi has moral stature. India’s Mahatma Gandhi still has it 80 years after his death. These titans never cried white terror, political persecution or prosecution when the law came down on them.

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But our so-called democracy fighters shout political persecution every time. Are they saying they should not face the law for storming a Legco conference room that injured security guards or for clashing with the police during an illegal assembly outside Beijing’s liaison office? Our independent judges are well able to differentiate between trumped-up and credible charges.

If political persecution exists here, they would already be in jail without due process. Those who shout white terror whenever they are held to account for their actions insult our internationally respected legal system. And they insult the good name of democracy.