Hong Kong must protect its history to safeguard own respect

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 May, 2018, 5:12pm
UPDATED : Monday, 14 May, 2018, 5:12pm

I am writing in response to the article, “Government rewrites history of Hong Kong’s 1997 handover, one inconvenient phrase at a time”, May 1.

The article referred to how the Hong Kong government amended the text on an official website to erase mention of the 1997 “handover of sovereignty”, citing correction of terminology.

We are the incoming generation of adult citizens of Hong Kong. We have studied different subjects in school to learn more about the world. We know that Hong Kong used to be controlled by Britain. But its seems the Hong Kong and central government do not accept this truth.

If we do not protect our own history, who will?

Your article also reported that, in the Chinese version of the Protocol Division’s website, the phrase “handover of sovereignty” had been removed in one instance. This came shortly after the Education Bureau’s external textbook review group said school history books describing the “taking back” of Hong Kong by China in 1997 was problematic. 

Although Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said there was “no harm” in having a more accurate version of our history, I agree with Civic Party lawmaker Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu, who described the moves as “disrespecting Hong Kong’s history”.

It is not just about the revamp of a website, it is an action that objects to our original history. As Hong Kong citizens and the next adult generation in Hong Kong, we have a responsibility to protect our own history. Reality can’t be changed.

Hong Kong is our city, with its many freedoms. If we do not protect our own history, who will, and who will really respect Hong Kong if its history is changed?

Angel Li, Tseung Kwan O