Young activists are being led down same bleak path

Those who were cheered on by freedom-loving supporters and party elders are now facing bankruptcy, in jail or being given more rope to hang themselves

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 August, 2018, 5:35pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 August, 2018, 10:13pm

Young people have enthusiasm and idealism, but they lack experience.

When they act in the most foolish and misguided manner, they should be called out, so there is still time for them to change course before it’s too late.

But either out of fanaticism or opportunism, most opposition politicians and their supporters are only too happy to see young people charge police barricades, disrupt the legislature and even commit riotous acts.

Should anyone be surprised that these young idealists being so cheered on end up at a dead end and face a ruinous future? Now that they are in a deep hole, where are their freedom-loving supporters and their party elders?

If seasoned politicians, many of them senior barristers, had offered better guidance and advice, or at least some coordination, disqualified pro-independence lawmakers Yau Wai-ching, 27, and Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang, 32, could still be in the Legislative Council and helping to make up a sufficient number of seats to retain vetoing power for the opposition.

Both now owe Legco more than HK$1.8 million and close to another HK$10 million in legal fees, the latter stemming from their failed bids to reverse their disqualification in court. Bankruptcy seems certain.

Threat of jail and bankruptcy hangs over pro-independence duo

Edward Leung Tin-kei, 27, a localist resistance icon, has been described by a former lawmaker and senior barrister as the finest political mind of his generation. He is now serving six years in jail for rioting and assault.

His political elders didn’t see fit to tell him to moderate his politics. Instead, they were happy to defend his “freedom of speech” and let him loose. But it’s not difficult to trace a direct line from his declaration that there was “no bottom line” in the struggle for Hong Kong independence to his rioting during the Lunar New Year holiday in 2016 to see him translate word into action.

Now, they are doing the same thing to Andy Chan Ho-tin, convenor of the separatist Hong Kong National Party. The more publicity you give him, the more rope you lend him to hang himself. After all the controversy over his being invited to give a speech at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, what did he do next?

He wrote to US President Donald Trump to urge him to kick Hong Kong and the mainland out of the World Trade Organisation.

Chan is being led down the same bleak path as Yau, the two Leungs and many other young activists.