My Take

Treatment of undocumented boy exposes the ugly side of nativism

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 September, 2015, 2:08am
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 September, 2015, 2:08am

Good deeds rarely go unpunished.

Unionist legislator Chan Yuen-han thought she was helping undocumented mainland boy Siu Yau-wai and his grandmother Chow Siu-shuen when she called a widely covered press conference back in May to publicise their plight.

Now grandma Chow has been charged with helping him breach his conditions of stay by the Immigration Department. The boy, 12, who had been in hiding for nine years since he arrived here on a two-way permit, was practically chased out of the city by anti-mainland nativist groups.

Protests were organised against them. The boy, who probably hadn't a clue what was happening, was branded a cheat and a criminal by those anti-mainland groups. He is now in Shenzhen but it's unclear who is taking care of him. Some reports say his other grandparents are caring for him, and that his parents continue to ignore him and will not provide for him.

Chan, a veteran leader of the leftist Federation of Trade Unions, completely misread the current political climate in which practically anything to do with the mainland is automatically seen in a negative light and exploited by so-called nativist groups to gain political mileage. Chan should have approached the department quietly and tried to resolve Siu's legal status through the proper channels.

If there is a silver lining, it is that the incident has exposed the callous, crude and ugly side of Hong Kong nativism and its representative groups.

So long as a case has a mainland connection, those groups would not let even a child off the hook. What Hong Kong core values are they championing or fighting to preserve? I would love to know.

They should remember that most people in Hong Kong are children or grandchildren of refugees from the mainland or ethnic-Chinese migrants from other Asian countries, and that despite an artificial border, Hong Kong is an integral part of China.

If they really despise China so much, they should consider leaving. Those who unfailingly wave the colonial flag during protests should try to emigrate to Great Britain. Perhaps the Brits would welcome them with open arms.