Tiananmen Square crackdown

‘Pimps in a brothel’: Hong Kong student leaders insult organisers of June 4 vigil

Key figure behind annual event that marks Beijing’s 1989 crackdown on democracy movement demands an apology for remarks by Shue Yan University’s editorial board

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 May, 2016, 9:03pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 May, 2016, 1:46pm

Hong Kong student leaders boycotting the annual vigil commemorating Beijing’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests in 1989 have stepped up their rhetoric by likening the organisers to “pimps and bawds in a brothel”.

The remarks, made by Shue Yan University’s student-run editorial board, reflect a growing sense of detachment from politics in mainland China among the younger generation, which favours localism and protecting Hong Kong’s identity.

Commemoration of the dissidents killed on June 4, 1989, near Tiananmen Square by the People’s Liberation Army is a taboo punishable by jail on the mainland, making Hong Kong the only Chinese territory where a large-scale memorial is possible.

Hong Kong University students’ union plans ‘alternative’ June 4 vigil

But the candlelight vigil in Victoria Park, the biggest rally in the world commemorating the crackdown, has been a target of criticism among the younger generation in recent years, with the Federation of Students deciding not to take part in the rally for the first time.

The most extreme description in recent days came from Ng Kwai-lung, head of Shue Yan University’s student union editorial board.

“The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China has become pimps and bawds in a brothel after they themselves were raped,” Ng wrote, referring to the vigil organiser. “Its task is to lure young girls to be tainted, before submitting them to the gangs and bandits.”

Ng said he phrased the statement with the help of Horace Chin Wan-kan, who opposes the vigil and wants Hong Kong to become a “city state”.

Hong Kong’s June 4 vigil will also support mainland Chinese arrested for supporting Occupy

Wang Dan, one of the student leaders in the 1989 protests in Beijing and who now lives in Taiwan, said the Hong Kong students were of the same standard of the “50-cent gang”, the army of ­internet commentators that Beijing employs to sing the government’s praises and attack its critics.

Lee Cheuk-yan, secretary of the alliance, demanded an apology from the board.

Frankly, I do not see their logic
Lee Cheuk-yan, chairman of the alliance

One of the slogans chanted during the vigil that has attracted most criticism was about “building a democratic China”.

Critics like the student leaders believe it is no concern of Hong Kong’s to push for this cause. Ng questioned why the vigil organisers “imagine the communists would turn good”.

But Lee disagreed. “Frankly, I do not see their logic. Why would they think a ruthless China is a matter separable from pursuing a democratic Hong Kong through self-determination?”