The Facebook ‘Look Back’ video craze has been catching on since the new function was launched in celebration of the social media site’s tenth anniversary last week.
But instead of making his own, the question that immediately crossed Pody Lui Chin-ching’s mind was: what would the video for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying be like, if he had one?
Lui is the creator behind the recent viral YouTube video ‘CY-Leung Facebook Look Back 689’, a parody video which looks back on the chief executive’s life as well as his path to prominence in local politics.
Watch: CY Leung's Facebook "Look Back" video
Posted under the pseudonym of Chiu Man, the video was first uploaded on February 7, and had garnered more than 21,000 views by midday on Wednesday.
To begin with, the one-minute clip shows a profile picture of Leung as a child born in 1954. The video then quickly flashes forward to a picture of a television interview Leung gave to RTHK in 1988. The subtitles cite him as saying “I am not politician material” during the interview.
The video soon proceeds to an array of Facebook statuses, some factual, some fictional. Pictures of key moments in Leung’s life – including the infamous portrait of him sitting next to Lufsig, the Ikea stuffed doll that has become the city’s democratic icon – were then shown, followed by a thumbs-down graphic, which wraps up the clip.
Lui told the South China Morning Post in an exclusive interview that: “Although some of the quotes are made up, the one about him saying that he was not suitable for politics is definitely true.”
A Hong Kong citizen based in Canada, Lui said he felt the urge to make the video after he was inspired by Canada’s full-fledged election system.
“Something very simple, like the right to vote for your own prime minister, is very normal here in Canada,” he said. “But in Hong Kong – such a civilised international city – [people] actually have to fight for it. It doesn’t makes sense to me.”
Lui said he still followed Hong Kong politics closely despite moving to Vancouver in 2004. He now works as a radio host in Toronto. When he returned to Hong Kong two years ago for a holiday, he was disappointed to see his most coveted shops had been turned into pharmacies and jewellery stores.
“I do have some friends in Canada asking me why the hell there are that many pharmacies in Hong Kong. Are people in Hong Kong very sick? Or are we suffering some kind of disease?” he recalled.
Raising Hongkongers’ awareness of universal suffrage is one thing, but Lui also joked that he had tailor-made the video for Leung in good conscience, knowing that the Chief Executive is a self-described technophobe.
“I believe CY said something like he doesn’t know how to use Whatspp or Facebook, so I figured maybe I could create [a video] for him,” he said.
The clip has attracted a string of comments since it was first posted. Internet user Kala OK said: “It recoded Leung’s best lines from his mastery of bogus language.”
Others, like Jackystation, demanded the video be extended because issues like the bidding process for television licenses and national education were yet to be explored.
Lui suggested viewers pay close attention if they want to grasp all the subtle yet witty references, one of which lies in the July 1, 2012 status saying: “So crowded out there! It must be the Standard Chartered Marathon today.”
That, he said, was a reference to Leung’s reluctance to listen to public views, and suggests his thinking that the July 1 protest was nothing more than millions of people jogging down the streets.
Lui also revealed he was already working on his next video, which will take a sarcastic look at another recent, hotly-debated topic in the city.
But for now, he said: “Let’s just keep it as a surprise.”