Class of ’97: Triad drug dealer turned musician, Law Chun-wan says Hongkongers are responsible for their own future
Law Chun-wan was arrested and convicted of trafficking cocaine when he was 14, but pleaded to be sent to rehabilitation secondary school Christian Zheng Sheng College
Meet the class of ’97, born the year of the handover. Their childhoods tell the stories of Hong Kong’s first two decades after the return to China. Some remember Sars, others took part in Occupy. Now, they’re trying to work out what their future holds – and how Hong Kong’s own uncertain future fits into their plans.
“I am currently studying at Christian Zheng Sheng College, a rehabilitation secondary school for juveniles. I have been here since I was 14, months after I was arrested and convicted of trafficking cocaine.
“I began taking drugs when I was 11 and started dealing for the triads about a year later.
“When I was finally caught, I did not have any strong feelings. It was only when police came to search the flat and I asked my mother to cook me a last bowl of noodles before they took me away that I broke down.
“I was taken to Pik Uk Correctional Institution as I waited to be charged. During my 21-day stay, I read a book about the college and pleaded to be sent there. Although I was required to stay for only two years, it is already my fifth year here. I chose to stay because I think I still have a lot to learn to become a better person, and I now have a very good relationship with my family.
“I completed the Diploma of Secondary Education exams this year. I do not expect good grades, but I did it because I do not want to have any regrets. I also picked up the guitar and piano, and, after graduating in July, I want to become a music therapist or work in the music field with those in need.
“Some students have quite pessimistic views on the city because of social or political reasons. But, from my perspective, Hongkongers should not jump to quick conclusions yet. We have a responsibility to contribute and make changes for a brighter future.”